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Mortgage Apps: Purchase Apps Continue to Rise

April 5, 2017
Bottom Line: Mortgage applications continued to decline as applications for refinancing fell again. However, the trend in purchase application improved again and remains remarkably strong, despite higher mortgage rates over the last several months, confirming the continued strength in housing data.

The MBA Mortgage Applications Index FELL by 1.6% during the week ended March 31 to 397.1, slightly above its 13 week average of 393.2 but 16.0% BELOW its year ago level.

The Purchase Index ROSE by 0.7% to 239.8, modestly above its 13 week average of 233.6 and 7.5% 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 FELL by 4.2% to 1,272. With this decline, refinancing activity is slightly below its 13 week average of 1,287 and 33.3% BELOW its year ago level.

Contract Mortgage Rates were MIXED with the 30-year fixed rate increasing by 1 bp to 4.34% and with the 15-year fixed rate was unchanged by 0 bp to 3.57%.