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Mortgage Apps: Slight Uptick, Refis hold near decade lows

February 8, 2017
Bottom Line: Mortgage activity rose slightly in the latest week. Mortgage rates are holding within 10bps of their late December highs, according to the realtor survey. Despite this, purchase application activity remains near its highest levels of the last 5 years. The percentage of borrowers opting for an adjustable-rate mortgage (most typically a 5-year fixed, 30-year amortizing) continues to rise modestly, hitting 6.9% in the latest week, up from 4.1% before rates started to move higher. Refinancing activity, though, remains very week with that index holding near lows of the last 10 years.

The MBA Mortgage Applications Index ROSE by 2.3% during the week ended February 3 to 393.6, slightly below its 13 week average of 398.9 and 21.8% BELOW its year ago level.

The Purchase Index ROSE by 1.8% to 233.7, slightly above its 13 week average of 230.5 and 5.5% 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 2.2% to 1,276. Despite this increase, refinancing activity is modestly below its 13 week average of 1,372 and 39.7% BELOW its year ago level.

Contract Mortgage Rates FELL with the 30-year fixed rate declining by 4 bps to 4.35% and with the 15-year fixed rate declining by 6 bps to 3.55%.