MBA Survey: Rates Up Slightly, Mortgage Applications Decline

May 4, 2016
Bottom Line: Mortgage activity fell modestly in the latest week. The 30-year mortgage rate was below 4% for the 14th consecutive week. Home buying declined slightly while refinancing activity declined moderately for the 8th time in the last 13 weeks. On a trend basis mortgage applications are still improving, especially when looking at 13-week averages for this volatile series. The MBA Mortgage Applications Index FELL by 3.4% during the week ended April 29 to 488.4, modestly below its 13 week average of 498.8 but still 14.3% 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 0.1% to 234.7, still modestly above its 13 week average of 226.9 and 13.3% ABOVE its year ago level. The level of purchase activity had stayed quite low, amid modest volatility but has started to turn moderately higher since 2015. The Refinance Index FELL by 5.5% to 1,953. With this decline, refinancing activity is now modestly below its 13 week average of 2,061 but still 15.1% ABOVE its year ago level. Contract Mortgage Rates ROSE with the 30-year fixed rate increasing by 2 bps to 3.87% and with the 15-year fixed rate increasing by 4 bps to 3.13%.
Article by contingentmacro