MBA Survey: Rates Mixed, Mortgage Applications Increase

April 20, 2016
Bottom Line: Mortgage activity rose slightly in the latest week. The 30-year mortgage rate inched higher on the week but was below 4% for the 12th consecutive week. Home buying declined slightly while refinancing activity rose for the 7th time in the last 13 weeks. On a trend basis mortgage applications are improving, especially when looking at 13-week averages for this volatile series. The MBA Mortgage Applications Index ROSE by 1.3% during the week ended April 15 to 526.8, modestly above its 13 week average of 494.1 and 14.9% 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 2014, turned sharply higher in early 2015 but then the trend shifted lower and is now up again. The Purchase Index FELL by 0.5% to 240.8, but was still modestly above its 13 week average of 226.1 and 17.2% 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 2.6% to 2,177. With this increase, refinancing activity is moderately above its 13 week average of 2,033 and 13.4% ABOVE its year ago level. Contract Mortgage Rates were MIXED with the 30-year fixed rate increasing by 1 bp to 3.83% and with the 15-year fixed rate dipping by 4 bps to 3.06%.
Article by contingentmacro