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Mortgage Apps: Another Modest Rebound

March 8, 2017
Bottom Line: Mortgage applications rebounded for a second week, despite a modest uptick in the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Purchase applications were stuck near decade lows since November, long enough for the last two weeks to bring the 4-week average back above the 13-week average. Normally the sign of a trend shift, this bears watching given how low the level remains. Purchase applications remain resilient, still in an uptrend, if at a slower pace.

The MBA Mortgage Applications Index ROSE by 3.3% during the week ended March 3 to 405.7, modestly above its 13 week average of 385.2 but 18.4% BELOW its year ago level.

The Purchase Index ROSE by 1.7% to 235.0, slightly above its 13 week average of 231.0 and 4.1% 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 5.2% to 1,358. Despite this increase, refinancing activity is moderately above its 13 week average of 1,266 but 34.0% BELOW its year ago level.

Contract Mortgage Rates ROSE with the 30-year fixed rate increasing by 6 bps to 4.36% and with the 15-year fixed rate increasing by 6 bps to 3.57%.