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Mortgage Apps: Purchase Applications Slide

January 18, 2017
Bottom Line: While there are still difficult seasonal adjustments in the data, purchase applications fell last week after proving rather resilient to higher mortgage rates since November. 30-year Mortgage rates fell with the curve flattening again as the average 30-year mortgage rate fell 5bps on the week, while 5-year Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) rate rose 12bps. Overall the trend remains -- refinancing applications have fallen to the lows of the last 5+ years when looking at 4-week averages, despite some improvement in the last two weeks; purchase applications are still in a slow uptrend, despite this week's decline.

The MBA Mortgage Applications Index ROSE by 0.8% during the week ended January 13 to 382.2, moderately below its 13 week average of 420.7 and 12.0% BELOW its year ago level.

The Purchase Index FELL by 5.2% to 229.4, modestly above its 13 week average of 224.2 and 0.9% 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 ROSE by 6.8% to 1,263. Despite this increase, refinancing activity is sharply below its 13 week average of 1,560 and 22.9% BELOW its year ago level.

Contract Mortgage Rates FELL with the 30-year fixed rate declining by 5 bps to 4.27% and with the 15-year fixed rate declining by 5 bps to 3.51%.