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Mortgage Apps: Another Decline as Mortgage Rates Rise

November 2, 2016
Bottom Line: With the average reported 30-year mortgage rising to 3.75%, its highest level since June, both purchase and refinance applications fell. On a trend basis the 4 week average is now down 15% from its peak in late July. And the 4-week average is below the 13-week average that is now down 5% from its peak in late September. The steady uptrend in mortgage applications for both refinancing and purchases that started at the beginning of this year ended late this summer. And that trend has now turned lower.

The MBA Mortgage Applications Index FELL by 1.2% during the week ended October 28 to 486.2, moderately below its 13 week average of 531.1 but 17.4% ABOVE its year ago level.

The Purchase Index FELL by 0.4% to 207.0, modestly below its 13 week average of 218.7 but 8.9% ABOVE its year ago level. The level of purchase activity had stayed quite low after the crisis until 2015 when it started to rise. But that trend has lost momentum since mid-2016.

The Refinance Index FELL by 1.6% to 2,088. With this decline, refinancing activity is sharply below its 13 week average of 2,328 but 23.3% ABOVE its year ago level.

Contract Mortgage Rates ROSE with the 30-year fixed rate increasing by 4 bps to 3.75% and with the 15-year fixed rate increasing by 3 bps to 3.04%.