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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Are Little Changed
by Tom Moeller  April 8, 2015

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that their total Mortgage Market Volume Index inched 0.4% higher last week (30.7% y/y). Purchase applications jumped 6.8% (11.9% y/y), strong for the third straight week, while refinance applications declined 3.3% (+46.8% y/y).

The effective interest rate on a 15-year mortgage slipped to 3.22%, the lowest level in eight weeks. The effective rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan nudged lower to 3.93%. The rate on a Jumbo 30-year loan fell to 3.88%. For adjustable 5-year mortgages, the effective interest rate fell sharply to 2.92%, its lowest level since June 2013.

The average mortgage loan size slipped to $268,300 (+13.4% y/y). For refinancings, it declined to $250,200 (+24.3% y/y) and for purchases it rose to $292,700 (7.3% y/y).

Applications for fixed interest rate loans increased 34.8% y/y, but adjustable rate loan applications declined 14.1% 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) 04/03/15 03/27/15 03/20/15 Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Total Market Index 458.9 457.0 437.1 30.7 361.5 616.6 813.8
 Purchase 201.8 188.9 178.7 11.9 172.1 197.5 187.8
 Refinancing 1,942.2 2,008.7 1,932.5 46.8 1,449.8 3,070.0 4,505.0
15-Year Mortgage Effective Interest Rate (%) 3.22 3.29 3.29 3.64
(4/14)
3.54 3.42 3.25
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