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Mortgage Apps: Rebounded as Rates Dropped

March 1, 2017
Bottom Line: Mortgage applications showed their sensitivity to mortgage rates last week as applications for both purchases and refinancing rose more than 5% as the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate hit 4.30%, the lowest level since December. Overall this wasn't enough to change the trend with refis at decade lows and purchase applications still growing modestly.

The MBA Mortgage Applications Index ROSE by 5.8% during the week ended February 24 to 392.9, slightly above its 13 week average of 385.8 but 20.9% BELOW its year ago level.

The Purchase Index ROSE by 6.5% to 231.0, slightly above its 13 week average of 230.9 and 6.6% 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 5.1% to 1,291. Despite this increase, refinancing activity is slightly above its 13 week average of 1,273 but 38.7% BELOW its year ago level.

Contract Mortgage Rates FELL with the 30-year fixed rate declining by 6 bps to 4.30% and with the 15-year fixed rate declining by 5 bps to 3.51%.