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Mortgage Apps: Modest Declines

March 22, 2017
Bottom Line: Mortgage applications fell modestly after a 3-week rebound 9% of new applications were for adjustable-rate mortgages -- this was the highest share of ARMs for all but one week in the last 5 years. We should note that the Fed's rate hike and subsequent decline in longer maturity yields would not yet have impacted this data. While the coming weeks bear watching, purchase applications remain remarkably resilient, still in an uptrend.

The MBA Mortgage Applications Index FELL by 2.7% during the week ended March 17 to 406.8, modestly above its 13 week average of 386.7 but 12.6% BELOW its year ago level.

The Purchase Index FELL by 2.1% to 235.3, slightly above its 13 week average of 232.2 and 5.0% 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 3.3% to 1,366. With this decline, refinancing activity is moderately above its 13 week average of 1,260 but 26.0% BELOW its year ago level.

Contract Mortgage Rates were MIXED with the 30-year fixed rate was unchanged by 0 bp to 4.46% and with the 15-year fixed rate increasing by 2 bps to 3.68%.