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MBA Survey: Rates Decline Modestly, Mortgage Applications Increase

July 13, 2016
Bottom Line: Mortgage activity rose moderately in the latest week. The 30-year mortgage rate was below 4% for the 24th consecutive week. Home buying was little changed while refinancing activity rose sharply for the 8th time in the last 13 weeks. On a trend basis mortgage applications are improving, when looking at 4 and 13-week averages for this volatile series.

The MBA Mortgage Applications Index ROSE by 7.2% during the week ended July 8 to 622.4, sharply above its 13 week average of 517.8 and 65.5% 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 retreated until December 2014 -- but it turned sharply higher in early 2015 and after some volatility has been trending higher.

The Purchase Index ROSE by 0.04% to 234.7, slightly above its 13 week average of 234.0 and 19.5% 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 11.2% to 2,870. With this increase, refinancing activity is sharply above its 13 week average of 2,153 and 106.1% ABOVE its year ago level.

Contract Mortgage Rates FELL with the 30-year fixed rate dipping by 6 bps to 3.60% and with the 15-year fixed rate declining by 8 bps to 2.88%.
Article by contingentmacro