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Mortgage Apps: Refis rebound

August 31, 2016

Bottom Line: Mortgage activity rose modestly in the latest week. Home buying increased slightly while refinancing activity rebouned with the 30-year mortgage rate holding steady at 3.67%. On a trend basis mortgage applications are still improving, but lost some momentum amid volatile August data. Expect more volatility in the coming weeks as seasonal adjustments at this time of year are difficult. We won't be able to get a real sense of any shift in trends until late September.

The MBA Mortgage Applications Index ROSE by 2.8% during the week ended August 26 to 545.2, slightly below its 13 week average of 548.4 but 18.7% 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 1.3% to 216.1, modestly below its 13 week average of 226.8 but 4.4% ABOVE its year ago level. The level of purchase activity had stayed quite low, amid modest volatility but started to turn moderately higher since 2015.

The Refinance Index ROSE by 3.7% to 2,442. With this increase, refinancing activity is slightly above its 13 week average of 2,403 and 28.3% ABOVE its year ago level.

Contract Mortgage Rates were MIXED with the 30-year fixed rate was unchanged at 3.67% and with the 15-year fixed rate increasing by 1 bp to 2.96%.

Article by contingentmacro