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Mortgage Applications Boosted 3.6 Percent From Refinance Activity

refinanceA rise in refinance activity boosted mortgage applications up 3.6 percent from last week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) weekly mortgage applications survey for the week ending August 14, 2015.

Mortgage loan application volume increased 3.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, according to the MBA's market composite index.

"Concerns about the Chinese economy pushed interest rates down last week, resulting in a two basis point decline in thirty year fixed interest rate, bringing the rate down to its lowest since May 2015," said Lynn Fisher, MBA's VP of Research and Economics. "The pick-up in refinance activity was led by larger loan sizes on average, as continued investor interest drove jumbo interest rates down even further, by five basis points."

The survey found, on an unadjusted basis, the index increased 3 percent compared with the previous week, while the refinance index increased 7 percent from the previous week to its highest level since May 2015.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased 1 percent from one week earlier to its lowest level since March 2015, MBA reported. The unadjusted purchase index decreased 3 percent compared with the previous week and was 19 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The data also determined that the refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 55.5 percent of total applications from 53.1 percent the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 6.9 percent of total applications. The FHA share of total applications decreased to 12.9 percent from 13.3 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 11.1 percent from 11.3 percent the week prior and the USDA share of total applications increased to 0.8 percent from 0.7 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 4.11 percent, its lowest level since May 2015, from 4.13 percent, with points increasing to 0.37 from 0.31 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) decreased to 4.03 percent, its lowest level since May 2015, from 4.08 percent, with points decreasing to 0.29 from 0.34 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

Click here to view the MBA weekly mortgage applications survey. 

About Author: Xhevrije West

Xhevrije West is a writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas. She has worked for a number of publications including The Syracuse New Times, Dallas Flow Magazine, and Bellwethr Magazine. She completed her Bachelors at Alcorn State University and went on to complete her Masters at Syracuse University.
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