MBA Survey: Rates Up Slightly, Mortgage Applications Increase

May 25, 2016
Bottom Line: Mortgage activity rose modestly in the latest week. The 30-year mortgage rate was below 4% for the 17th consecutive week. Home buying increased modestly while refinancing activity rose for the 6th time in the last 13 weeks. On a trend basis mortgage applications pace of increase has slowed, especially when looking at 13-week averages for this volatile series. The MBA Mortgage Applications Index ROSE by 2.3% during the week ended May 20 to 496.5, slightly above its 13 week average of 491.3 and 24.2% 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 ROSE by 4.8% to 234.9, modestly above its 13 week average of 230.1 and 16.6% 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 ROSE by 0.4% to 2,006. With this increase, refinancing activity is slightly above its 13 week average of 1,994 and 30.4% ABOVE its year ago level. Contract Mortgage Rates ROSE with the 30-year fixed rate increasing by 3 bps to 3.85% and with the 15-year fixed rate increasing by 4 bps to 3.06%.
Article by contingentmacro