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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Improve
by Tom Moeller  November 19, 2014

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that their total Mortgage Market Volume Index increased 4.9% last week (-13.3% y/y) to the highest level since the middle of last month. Applications to purchase a home jumped 11.7% (-6.7% y/y) to the highest level since July of last year. Refinancing applications gained 0.9% (-17.3% y/y).

The effective interest rate on a 15-year mortgage held w/w at 3.45% but was higher than 3.34% three weeks ago. The effective rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan of 4.24% was up versus the low of 4.16%. The rate on a Jumbo 30-year loan was 4.14%. For adjustable 5-year mortgages, the effective interest rate rose to 3.21% but remained down versus last year's 3.74% peak.

The average mortgage loan size pulled further back w/w to $249,900. For home purchases, it slipped to $279,500; for refinancings, it declined to $231,200.

Applications for fixed interest rate loans declined 12.8% y/y while adjustable rate loan applications fell 19.3% 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) 11/14/14 11/07/14 10/31/14 Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Total Market Index 391.3 372.9 376.1 -13.3 616.6 813.8 572.3
 Purchase 179.8 160.9 159.2 -6.7 197.5 187.8 182.6
 Refinancing 1,604.6 1,590.3 1,621.2 -17.3 3,070.0 4,505.0 2,858.4
15-Year Mortgage Effective Interest Rate (%) 3.45 3.44 3.46 3.59
3.42 3.25 3.97
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