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Mortgage Apps: Continues to Confirm Housing Stabilization, Not A Turn Higher Yet

May 29, 2019

Bottom Line: With 30-year fixed-rate mortgages holding near 4 3/8% last week, purchase applications slipped just slightly but refinancing fell sharply, giving back much of the prior week's gain. On a trend basis purchase applications have been rising modestly for 3-6 months now. Refinancing remains muted if modestly higher than in late '18. Overall, that purchase application trend at least supports the case that housing has stabilized, but it is still too early to say housing activity is starting to trend higher again.

The MBA Mortgage Applications Index FELL by 3.3% during the week ended May 24 to 411.5, modestly below its 13 week average of 424.3 but 15.6% ABOVE its year ago level.

The Purchase Index FELL by 1.4% to 259.4, slightly below its 13 week average of 264.3 but 6.9% ABOVE its year ago level.

The Refinance Index FELL by 6.0% to 1,255. With this decline, refinancing activity is modestly below its 13 week average of 1,312 but 29.3% ABOVE its year ago level.

Contract Mortgage Rates were MIXED with the 30-year fixed rate unchanged at 4.33% and with the 15-year fixed rate declining by 5 bps to 3.73%.

Article by Contingent Macro Advisors