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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Slip Led by Fewer Home Purchases
by Tom Moeller  February 12, 2014

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that their total mortgage market index declined 2.0% last week (-50.1% y/y). Applications to purchase a home fell 5.0% (-12.2% y/y) while applications to refinance a loan slipped 0.2% (-60.8% y/y)

The effective interest rate on a 15-year mortgage fell last week to 3.55%, the lowest level since early November. That's still up, however, from 2.89% early in May of 2013. The effective rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan held at 4.55% last week while the rate on a Jumbo 30-year loan was stable at 4.44%. The effective interest rate on an adjustable 5-year mortgage slipped further to 3.22% but remained up from its low of 2.59% at the beginning of May last year.

Applications for fixed interest rate loans fell 51.9% y/y while adjustable rate loan applications fell 6.4% y/y. The average mortgage loan size jumped to $232,500. The average loan size for home purchases fell to $270,300 last week but for refinancings it jumped to $208,900.

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) 02/07/14 01/31/14 01/24/14 Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Total Market Index 397.2 405.2 403.4 -50.1 616.6 813.8 572.3
 Purchase 171.5 180.5 187.6 -12.2 197.5 187.8 182.6
 Refinancing 1,690 1,693.2 1,645.2 -60.8 3,070.0 4,505.0 2,858.4
15-Year Mortgage Effective Interest Rate (%) 3.55 3.60 3.66 3.10
3.42 3.25 3.97
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