MBA: Rates Mixed, Mortgage Applications Decline

December 16, 2015
The MBA Mortgage Applications Index FELL by 1.1% during the week ended December 11 to 419.4, modestly below its 13 week average of 430.2 but still 16.5% ABOVE its year ago level. On a longer term basis, mortgage applications rose from early 2011 until May 2013 when the trend topped out and began a steady retreat. However, the declining trend bottomed in December, turned sharply higher earlier this year but the trend is now shifting modestly lower. The Purchase Index FELL by 2.8% to 221.7, but is still modestly above its 13 week average of 208.8 and 34.0% ABOVE its year ago level. The level of purchase activity had stayed quite low, amid moderate volatility, since May 2010 but is now turning moderately higher. The Refinance Index ROSE by 1.4% to 1,593. Despite this increase, refinancing activity is still modestly below its 13 week average of 1,699 but 4.9% ABOVE its year ago level. This sub-index declining trend bottomed in December and the trend is now modestly higher. Contract Mortgage Rates were MIXED with the 30-year fixed rate was unchanged at 4.14% and with the 15-year fixed rate dipping by 1 bp to 3.38%. Bottom Line: Mortgage activity fell slightly in the latest week, declining for the 8th time in the last 13 weeks. Mortgage rates were little changed for the week and are averaging about 0.15% higher than in October when 30 year conforming balance mortgage rates hovered just below 4.00%. Home buying declined modestly while refinancing activity rose for the 6th time in the last 13 weeks. Overall, activity is now rising moderately on a year over year basis after slowing from beginning of the year levels.
Article by contingentmacro