Mortgage Apps: Purchase Apps Rise

May 3, 2017
Bottom Line: With volatility due to seasonal adjustments largely behind this weekly data, the purchase application component of this index resumed its uptrend last week. On a trend basis, purchase applications are rising steadily, despite declines in midi-April. Applications for refinancing remain historically low. Overall, the purchase applications suggest continued strength in housing activity, while the refinance application suggests prepayments due to refinancing of existing mortgages should remain low. The MBA Mortgage Applications Index FELL by 0.1% during the week ended April 28 to 405.8, slightly above its 13 week average of 398.4 but 16.9% BELOW its year ago level. The Purchase Index ROSE by 4.2% to 246.0, modestly above its 13 week average of 235.4 and 4.8% ABOVE its year ago level. The level of purchase activity had stayed quite low after the crisis until 2015 when it started to rise. That trend lost momentum in mid-2016 but has now started to rise again, despite higher mortgage rates. The Refinance Index FELL by 4.7% to 1,302. With this decline, refinancing activity is slightly below its 13 week average of 1,307 and 33.3% BELOW its year ago level. Contract Mortgage Rates ROSE with the 30-year fixed rate increasing by 3 bps to 4.23% and with the 15-year fixed rate increasing by 5 bps to 3.51%.