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Mortgage Apps: Refis Pick-up As Rates Fall

April 26, 2017
Bottom Line: While seasonal adjustments around the Good Friday holiday impacted figures for this report, there are signs in the last four weeks that some borrowers are looking for lower rates at which to refinance and have done so as 30-year mortgages fell from an average of 4.446% in mid-March to 4.20% last week. On a trend basis, purchase applications are still rising steadily, despite declines in the last two weeks. Applications for refinancing remain historically low, despite the uptick in the last few weeks.

The MBA Mortgage Applications Index ROSE by 2.7% during the week ended April 21 to 406.2, modestly above its 13 week average of 396.7 but 19.6% BELOW its year ago level.

The Purchase Index FELL by 1.0% to 236.0, slightly above its 13 week average of 234.1 and 0.4% ABOVE its year ago level. The level of purchase activity had stayed quite low after the crisis until 2015 when it started to rise. That trend lost momentum in mid-2016 but has now started to rise again, despite higher mortgage rates.

The Refinance Index ROSE by 7.2% to 1,366. Despite this increase, refinancing activity is modestly above its 13 week average of 1,302 but 33.9% BELOW its year ago level.

Contract Mortgage Rates FELL with the 30-year fixed rate declining by 2 bps to 4.20% and with the 15-year fixed rate declining by 4 bps to 3.46%.