MBA Survey: Rates Decline Modestly, Mortgage Applications Increase

February 10, 2016
Bottom Line: Mortgage activity rose moderately in the latest week as refinancing activity increased. Mortgage rates were lower on the week and are now back to the October lows when 30 year conforming balance mortgage rates hovered below 4.00%. Home buying increased slightly while refinancing activity rose for the 9th time in the last 13 weeks. The MBA Mortgage Applications Index ROSE by 9.3% during the week ended February 5 to 503.6, sharply above its 13 week average of 425.9 and 0.4% 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 2014, turned sharply higher in early 2015 but the trend is now shifting lower again. The Purchase Index ROSE by 0.2% to 221.6, slightly below its 13 week average of 222.2 but 26.6% 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 15.8% to 2,117. With this increase, refinancing activity is sharply above its 13 week average of 1,610 but still 11.6% BELOW its year ago level. Contract Mortgage Rates FELL with the 30-year fixed rate declining by 6 bps to 3.91% and with the 15-year fixed rate dipping by 4 bps to 3.18%.
Article by contingentmacro