Mortgage Apps: Refis Jump Most Since Crisis

March 11, 2020
Bottom Line: Mortgage activity jumped again last week wih the 30-year mortgage rate averaging 3.47%, matching the late 2012 lows, and pushing the refi application index to its highest weekly gain since late 2008. The Mortgage Bankers Association now expects total mortgage originations of $2.61 Trillion in 2020, up 20% from 2019's volume. Refinancings will likely account for just under half of the originations. Secondary mortgage market rates were still suggesting that the full impact of the drop in rates hasn't been passed on to borrowers yet, which is typical amid increased volatility. The MBA Mortgage Applications Index ROSE by 55.4% during the week ended March 6 to 1172.1, sharply above its 13 week average of 641.4 and 205.2% ABOVE its year-ago level. The Purchase Index ROSE by 5.6% to 280.7, modestly above its 13 week average of 275.1 and 11.9% ABOVE its year-ago level. The Refinance Index ROSE by 78.6% to 6,419. Despite this increase, refinancing activity is sharply above its 13 week average of 2,783 and 479.2% ABOVE its year-ago level. Contract Mortgage Rates FELL with the 30-year fixed rate declining by 10 bps to 3.47% and the 15-year fixed rate declining by 13 bps to 2.90%.