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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Move Lower
by Tom Moeller  August 13, 2014

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that their total Mortgage Market Volume Index declined 2.7% last week (-28.4% y/y). Applications remained two-thirds below the peak in September 2012. Applications to refinance an existing loan declined 4.0% (-38.4% y/y) and reversed the prior week's rise. Home purchase applications fell 1.0% (-9.8% y/y), about the same as during the prior week.

The effective interest rate on a 15-year mortgage held at 3.56% and remained nearly the lowest rate since late-May. The effective rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan was unchanged at 4.41%. The rate on a Jumbo 30-year loan slipped to 4.30%. For adjustable 5-year mortgages, the effective interest rate eased to 3.41% and remained near its lowest level since late-May.

The average mortgage loan size increased to $245,200. For home purchases, the average loan size slipped to $276,800 and for refinancings it was roughly unchanged at $218,200.

Applications for fixed interest rate loans declined 29.7% y/y while adjustable rate loan applications were off by 8.3% y/y.

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) 08/08/14 08/01/14 07/25/14 Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Total Market Index 337.7 347.0 341.7 -28.4 616.6 813.8 572.3
 Purchase 164.8 166.5 168.7 -9.8 197.5 187.8 182.6
 Refinancing 1,322.2 1,377.0 1,326.4 -38.4 3,070.0 4,505.0 2,858.4
15-Year Mortgage Effective Interest Rate (%) 3.56 3.58 3.53 3.80
(8/13)
3.42 3.25 3.97
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