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Mortgage Apps: Trend Still Modest Better For Purchase Apps

February 27, 2019
Bottom Line: Mortgage applications rose modestly on a seasonally adjusted basis after falling only slightly during a holiday shortened week. On a trend basis the index of purchase applications has been trending modestly higher amid some volatility since the beginning of the year. While refinancing activity remains extremely muted, the modest decline in mortgage rates sparked an increase in purchase applications that likely suggests some stabilization in housing activity in 2019 after a swift downturn in late '18.

The MBA Mortgage Applications Index ROSE by 5.3% during the week ended February 22 to 384.8, moderately above its 13 week average of 359.4 and 0.5% ABOVE its year ago level.

The Purchase Index ROSE by 6.1% to 247.0, slightly below its 13 week average of 248.9 but 3.2% ABOVE its year ago level.

The Refinance Index ROSE by 4.6% to 1,134. Despite this increase, refinancing activity is sharply above its 13 week average of 977 but 3.0% BELOW its year ago level.

Contract Mortgage Rates FELL with the 30-year fixed rate declining by 1 bp to 4.65% and with the 15-year fixed rate declining by 4 bps to 4.00%.