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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Move Slightly Lower
by Tom Moeller  November 12, 2014

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that their total Mortgage Market Volume Index fell 0.9% last week (-19.2% y/y), the third straight week of decline. Applications to refinance an existing loan fell 1.9% (-23.4% y/y), also the third straight down week. Home purchase applications improved 1.1% (-11.7% y/y).

The effective interest rate on a 15-year mortgage held w/w at 3.44%, up from 3.34% two weeks ago. The effective rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan of 4.26% was up versus the low of 4.16%. The rate on a Jumbo 30-year loan held at 4.17%. For adjustable 5-year mortgages, the effective interest rate slipped to 3.17%, down versus last year's 3.74% peak.

The average mortgage loan size pulled further back w/w to $252,200. For home purchases, it was fairly steady at $281,700; for refinancings, it declined to $235,200.

Applications for fixed interest rate loans declined 19.3% y/y while adjustable rate loan applications fell 18.9% 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.

Does Slower Growth Imply Lower Interest Rates? from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is available here.

MBA Mortgage Applications (SA, 3/16/90=100) 11/07/14 10/31/14 10/24/14 Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Total Market Index 372.9 376.1 386.1 -19.2 616.6 813.8 572.3
 Purchase 160.9 159.2 155.2 -11.7 197.5 187.8 182.6
 Refinancing 1,590.3 1,621.2 1,715.3 -23.4 3,070.0 4,505.0 2,858.4
15-Year Mortgage Effective Interest Rate (%) 3.44 3.46 3.34 3.59
3.42 3.25 3.97
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