Mortgage Apps: Purchase Apps Steady To Higher Amid Increase in Rates

April 17, 2019
Bottom Line: Mortgage rates nudged higher in the first two weeks of April, sending applications for mortgage refinancing lower. Purchase applications, though, held up, even inching a touch higher. Applications for 5-year Adjustable Rate Mortgages (5-year fixed then flowing with 30-year amortization schedule) came back down to a more normal share of overall applications after a surprising increase late in March. Overall there has been a clear shift in activity since rates started to fall late last year. Applications have been leading indicator of stabilization in housing activity -- and application data continues to suggest the potential for renewed modest acceleration. The MBA Mortgage Applications Index FELL by 3.5% during the week ended April 12 to 459.0, still sharply above its 13 week average of 406.4 and 14.9% ABOVE its year ago level. The Purchase Index ROSE by 0.9% to 280.7, moderately above its 13 week average of 257.5 and 7.0% ABOVE its year ago level. The Refinance Index FELL by 8.2% to 1,453. With this decline, refinancing activity is sharply above its 13 week average of 1,227 and 26.4% ABOVE its year ago level. Contract Mortgage Rates ROSE with the 30-year fixed rate increasing by 4 bps to 4.44% and with the 15-year fixed rate increasing by 1 bp to 3.84%.