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Rising rates push weekly loan application volume down

Mortgage applications decreased 5.6 percent last week from the week prior, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

The retreat during the week ending April 5, 2019, coincided with mortgage rates swinging upward, according to Mike Fratantoni, MBA senior vice president and chief economist. The rate shift had a pronounced impact on refinances, as the MBA’s Refinance Index, which measures refi application volume, decreased 11 percent from the previous week.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, on the other hand, increased 1 percent from the week prior. The unadjusted Purchase Index was also up 1 percent compared to the previous week, as well as 13 percent higher than the same week last year.

“"As quickly as refinance activity increased in recent weeks, it backed down again in response to the rise in rates,” said Fratantoni. “However, this spring's lower borrowing costs, coupled with the strong job market, continue to push purchase application volume much higher.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity is at 44.1 percent of all total applications, down from 47.4 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share is down to 7.6 percent of all total applications.

FHA loans comprised 9.6 percent of total applications, up from 8.8 percent the previous week. VA loans increased to 11.1 percent from 10.4 percent the previous week. USDA loans remained unchanged at 0.6 percent.

The average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) grew to 4.40 percent last week from 4.36 percent the week prior, with points rising to 0.47 from 0.44. The average interest rate for 30-year jumbo FRMs increased to 4.28 percent from 4.21 percent. The average interest rate for FHA loans rose to 4.42 percent from 4.41 percent.

The average interest rate for 15-year FRMs grew to 3.78 percent from 3.77 percent. The average contract rate for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages increased to 3.78 percent from 3.77 percent.


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