Lending

Lower Rates Spurred Big Increase in Refis

Mortgage applications increased 8.9 percent from one week earlier,according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 22.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 8.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 9 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 12 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 6 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 7 percent compared with the previous week and was 4 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

Joel Kan

“The spring buying season is off to a strong start. Thanks to an unexpectedly large drop in mortgage rates following last week’s FOMC meeting, purchase applications jumped 6 percent and refinance applications surged over 12 percent,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Rates dropped across all loan types, and the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is now more than 70 basis points below last November’s peak. The average loan size increased once again to new highs for purchase and refinance loans, as borrowers with, or seeking, larger loans tend to be more reactive to the drop in rates.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 40.4 percent of total applications from 39.2 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to 7.8 percent of applications.

The FHA share of applications decreased to 9.3 percent from 10.4 percent the week prior. The Veterans Affairs share of total applications decreased to 10.4 percent from 10.6 percent the week prior. The Department of Agriculture share of applications remained unchanged from 0.6 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) decreased to 4.45 percent from 4.55 percent, with points decreasing to 0.39 from 0.42 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio 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 $484,350) decreased to 4.35 percent from 4.37 percent, with points increasing to 0.27 from 0.23 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration decreased to 4.48 percent from 4.59 percent, with points decreasing to 0.48 from 0.50 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.87 percent from 3.97 percent, with points increasing to 0.47 from 0.40 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages decreased to 3.77 percent from 3.99 percent, with points increasing to 0.30 from 0.29 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

 

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