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Data Shows Mortgage Applications on the Rise

The MBA recently released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 19, finding that mortgage applications increased by 4.5 percent week-over-week—the data factored an adjustment for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., holiday. Unadjusted, it decreased 4 percent compared to last week.

Let’s take a look at the latest breakdown of mortgage applications . . .

•The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 6 percent.

•The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 7 percent higher than the same week last year.

•The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 49.4 percent of total applications from 52.2 percent the previous week.

•The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity remained unchanged at 5.2 percent of total applications.

In terms of FHA loans, total FHA applications decreased to 11.4 percent, a week-over-week drop from 11.7 percent. The VA share of total applications increased to 10.9 percent from 10.7 percent the week prior, while the USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.8 percent.

A look at 30- and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages:

•The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($453,100 or less) increased to its highest level since March 2017 to 4.36 percent from 4.33 percent.

•The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $453,100) also increased to its highest level since March 2017 to 4.31 percent from 4.25 percent.

•The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to its highest level since September 2013—at 4.37 percent.

•The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to its highest level since September 2013 as well to 3.81 percent, from 3.77 percent.

Methodology:

The survey covers more than 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications. Respondents include mortgage banks, commercial banks, and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.

About Author: Nicole Casperson

Nicole Casperson is the Associate Editor of DS News and MReport. She graduated from Texas Tech University where she received her M.A. in Mass Communications and her B.A. in Journalism. Casperson previously worked as a graduate teaching instructor at Texas Tech's College of Media and Communications. To contact Casperson, e-mail: [email protected]
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