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Mortgage Apps:  Slower Purchase Applications Amid Already Weak Refi Activity

August 23, 2017
Bottom Line: Purchase applications have continued to slow, falling again last week. Purchases applications tracked the declines in new home sales we saw in this morning's July report but have stabilized so far in August. Refinancing activity remains historically very low with little volatility in the last 4 weeks, despite the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage holding at 4 1/8%, near the lows of 2017. Overall mortgage volumes are now trending modestly lower.

The MBA Mortgage Applications Index FELL by 0.5% during the week ended August 18 to 416.8, slightly below its 13 week average of 419.2 and 21.4% BELOW its year ago level.

The Purchase Index FELL by 1.5% to 230.4, modestly below its 13 week average of 243.3 but 8.0% ABOVE its year ago level.

The Refinance Index ROSE by 0.3% to 1,460. Despite this increase, refinancing activity is modestly above its 13 week average of 1,400 but 38.0% BELOW its year ago level.

Contract Mortgage Rates were MIXED with the 30-year fixed rate was unchanged by 0 bp to 4.12% and with the 15-year fixed rate declining by 1 bp to 3.40%.