Mortgage Apps:  Higher with Mortgage Rates Near Lows

October 5, 2016
Bottom Line: Mortgage activity rose, led by applications for refinancing as mortgage bankers reported the average 30-year mortgage rate dropped to 3.62%, the lowest rate since the first week of July. However, the refinance index at 2380 is still well below where it was in the first week of July, 2870, with the mortgage rate just 2bps lower than last week's level. On a trend basis mortgage applications are still improving, especially when looking at 13-week averages for this volatile series. The MBA Mortgage Applications Index ROSE by 2.9% during the week ended September 30 to 542.2, modestly below its 13 week average of 554.8 but 1.5% ABOVE its year ago level. The Purchase Index FELL by 0.1% to 222.5, slightly above its 13 week average of 222.5 but 13.6% BELOW its year ago level. The level of purchase activity had stayed quite low, amid modest volatility but started to turn moderately higher since 2015. The Refinance Index ROSE by 4.7% to 2,380. With this increase, refinancing activity is modestly below its 13 week average of 2,472 but 13.0% ABOVE its year ago level. Contract Mortgage Rates FELL with the 30-year fixed rate declining by 4 bps to 3.62% and with the 15-year fixed rate declining by 2 bps to 2.93%.