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Mortgage Apps: Slight Rebound

February 20, 2019
Bottom Line: Mortgage applications rose just slightly last week as the 30-year mortgage rate held near 4.65%, about 20bps below year-end levels. On a trend basis the purchase applications continue to bear watching as they have accelerated modestly higher this year. However, the strength we saw earlier this year as rates dipped back below 5% seems to have lost some momentum, even as rates have fallen further. The trend in refinancing remains down with volumes extremely muted, despite a slight bounce in the last week. Overall, mortgage purchase applications remain the segment to watch - for now the strength we saw earlier in the year is abating a bit but bears watching.

The MBA Mortgage Applications Index ROSE by 3.6% during the week ended February 15 to 365.3, modestly above its 13 week average of 355.8 but 2.0% BELOW its year ago level.

The Purchase Index ROSE by 1.7% to 232.7, modestly below its 13 week average of 248.9 but 3.2% ABOVE its year ago level.

The Refinance Index ROSE by 6.4% to 1,084. Despite this increase, refinancing activity is sharply above its 13 week average of 950 but 8.3% BELOW its year ago level.

Contract Mortgage Rates were MIXED with the 30-year fixed rate increasing by 1 bp to 4.66% and with the 15-year fixed rate was unchanged at 4.04%.