Mortgage Apps: Mostly Steady, Refi Apps Lose Momentum

December 11, 2019
Bottom Line: The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has continued to average within a few bps of 4% for the last month. Purchase applications have been mostly steady adjusted for the Thanksgiving holiday. On a trend basis refinancing activity is still up sharply since the broad decline in rates started at the end of 2018. But refi application growth has flat lined in the last month. Overall, mortgage applications suggest housing activity has been steady, and any benefit to consumers from refinancing into lower rate mortgages is starting to taper off. The MBA Mortgage Applications Index ROSE by 3.8% during the week ended December 6 to 532.1, modestly below its 13 week average of 545.4 but 53.8% ABOVE its year ago level. The Purchase Index FELL by 0.4% to 268.3, modestly above its 13 week average of 258.9 and 4.8% ABOVE its year ago level. The Refinance Index ROSE by 8.7% to 2,094. Despite this increase, refinancing activity is modestly below its 13 week average of 2,188 but 145.9% ABOVE its year ago level. Contract Mortgage Rates were MIXED with the 30-year fixed rate increasing by 1 bp to 3.98% and with the 15-year fixed rate was unchanged at 3.37%.