Mortgage Apps: Purchase Apps Increase, Rates Steady

November 20, 2019
Bottom Line: The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has averaged within a few bps of 4% for the last month. Purchase applications have started to tick slightly higher, while refinancing has lost momentum after the sharp increase in the prior 6+ months. On a trend basis refinancing activity is still up sharply since the broad decline in rates started at the end of 2018. Purchase applications, though, are mixed, despite the low overall rate level. The MBA Mortgage Applications Index FELL by 2.2% during the week ended November 15 to 556.0, slightly above its 13 week average of 552.8 and 75.7% ABOVE its year ago level. The Purchase Index ROSE by 6.7% to 270.4, modestly above its 13 week average of 253.1 and 18.8% ABOVE its year ago level. The Refinance Index FELL by 7.7% to 2,191. With this decline, refinancing activity is modestly below its 13 week average of 2,264 but 179.5% ABOVE its year ago level. Contract Mortgage Rates FELL with the 30-year fixed rate declining by 4 bps to 3.99% and with the 15-year fixed rate declining by 3 bps to 3.40%.