MBA Survey: Rates up slightly, Mortgage Applications Increase

December 9, 2015
The MBA Mortgage Applications Index ROSE by 1.2% during the week ended December 4 to 424.1, slightly below its 13 week average of 428.7 but 13.9% ABOVE its year ago level. On a longer term basis, mortgage applications rose from early 2011 until May 2013 when the trend topped out and began a steady retreat. However, the declining trend bottomed in December, turned sharply higher earlier this year but the trend is now shifting modestly lower. The Purchase Index was UNCHANGED at 228.2, still sharply above its 13 week average of 206.9 and 28.4% ABOVE its year ago level. The level of purchase activity had stayed quite low, amid moderate volatility, since May 2010 but is now turning moderately higher. The Refinance Index ROSE by 3.5% to 1,570. Despite this increase, refinancing activity is moderately below its 13 week average of 1,696 but still 3.4% ABOVE its year ago level. This sub-index declining trend bottomed in December and the trend is now modestly higher. Contract Mortgage Rates ROSE with the 30-year fixed rate increasing by 2 bps to 4.14% and with the 15-year fixed rate increasing by 3 bps to 3.39%. Bottom Line: Mortgage activity rose slightly in the latest week, increasing for the 5th time in the last 13 weeks as rates were up modestly. Mortgage rates were up slightly on the week and are averaging about 0.15% higher than in October when 30 year conforming balance mortgage rates hovered just below 4.00%. Home buying was unchanged while refinancing activity rose for the 5th time in the last 13 weeks. Activity is now rising modestly after slowing from beginning of the year levels.
Article by contingentmacro