Mortgage Apps: Purchase Apps Trend Higher

May 8, 2019
Bottom Line: As 30-year fixed-rate mortgages hold below 4.5% and the spring selling season gets underway, purchase applications remain in a modest uptrend. The 13-week average for all application hits its highest level in nearly 3 years with even muted refinancing activity rebounding modestly in the last few months. Overall there has been a clear shift in activity since rates started to fall late last year. Applications have been a leading indicator of stabilization in housing activity -- and application data continues to suggest the potential for renewed modest acceleration. The MBA Mortgage Applications Index ROSE by 2.7% during the week ended May 3 to 418.1, slightly above its 13 week average of 412.7 and 8.0% ABOVE its year ago level. The Purchase Index ROSE by 4.2% to 270.2, modestly above its 13 week average of 257.9 and 4.9% ABOVE its year ago level. The Refinance Index ROSE by 0.8% to 1,239. Despite this increase, refinancing activity is modestly below its 13 week average of 1,267 but 12.8% ABOVE its year ago level. Contract Mortgage Rates were MIXED with the 30-year fixed rate declining by 1 bp to 4.41% and with the 15-year fixed rate was unchanged by 0 bp to 3.81%.