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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Retreat as Interest Rates Tick Higher
by Tom Moeller  November 13, 2013

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that their total mortgage market index fell 1.8% last week (-46.6% y/y). Applications to refinance existing loans were off 2.3% and remained down by roughly one-half versus November 2012. Home purchase mortgage applications slipped 0.5% last week (-6.9% y/y) and were 17.4% below the early-May peak.

The effective interest rate on a 15-year mortgage edged up to 3.59%. It was up versus the early-May low of 2.89%. The effective rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan nudged higher to 4.57% last week while the rate on a Jumbo 30-year loan was 4.58%. The effective interest rate on an adjustable 5-year mortgage rose w/w to 3.21% and remained up from its low of 2.59% at the beginning of May.

Applications for fixed interest rate loans fell by 48.5% y/y while adjustable rate loan applications increased 2.0% y/y. The average mortgage loan size was $226,200. The average size loan for home purchases was $264,600 last week while for refinancings it was $206,600.

The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990.  Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. The base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100. The figures for weekly mortgage applications and interest rates are available in Haver's SURVEYW database. 

MBA Mortgage Applications (SA, 3/16/90=100) 11/08/13 11/01/13 10/25/13 Y/Y% 2012 2011 2010
Total Market Index 461.7 470.0 483.7 -46.6 813.8 572.3 659.3
 Purchase 182.2 183.2 184.5 -6.9 187.8 182.6 199.8
 Refinancing 2,076 2,125.1 2,211.3 -56.8 4,505.0 2,858.4 3,348.1
15-Year Mortgage Effective Interest Rate (%) 3.59 3.52 3.50 2.98
3.25 3.97 4.39
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