MBA Survey: Rates Up Slightly, Mortgage Applications Increase

December 23, 2015
The MBA Mortgage Applications Index ROSE by 7.3% during the week ended December 18 to 450.0, modestly above its 13 week average of 429.7 and 23.9% 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 earlier this year but the trend is now shifting modestly lower. The Purchase Index ROSE by 4.1% to 230.8, moderately above its 13 week average of 210.1 and 37.6% 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 10.8% to 1,764. Despite this increase, refinancing activity is modestly above its 13 week average of 1,694 and 14.9% ABOVE its year ago level. This sub-index declining trend bottomed in December 2014 and the trend is now modestly higher. Contract Mortgage Rates ROSE with the 30-year fixed rate increasing by 2 bps to 4.16% and with the 15-year fixed rate increasing by 7 bps to 3.45%. Bottom Line: Mortgage activity rose moderately in the latest week, increasing for the 5th time in the last 13 weeks. Mortgage rates were up slightly on 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 increased 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