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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Decline; Rates Are Stable
by Tom Moeller  June 3, 2015

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that its total Mortgage Market Volume Index declined 7.6% last week (+6.2% y/y), down for the sixth straight week. Refinance applications retrenched 11.5% (-1.2% y/y) to the lowest level since late-December. Purchase applications declined 3.0% (+14.5% y/y).

The effective interest rate on a 15-year mortgage was fairly stable at 3.36%, up from last month's low of 3.17%. The effective rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan dipped to 4.12%. The rate on a Jumbo 30-year loan also fell to 4.10%. For adjustable 5-year mortgages, the effective interest rate eased to 3.15% but remained up from last month's low of 2.97%.

The average mortgage loan size fell to $263,300 (+3.7% y/y). For purchases, it declined to $291,600 (+4.1% y/y) but for refinancings it increased to $234,000 (1.7% y/y).

Applications for fixed interest rate loans increased 7.5% y/y, but adjustable rate loan applications declined 19.6% 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) 05/29/15 05/22/15 05/15/15 Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Total Market Index 369.5 399.9 406.5 6.2 361.5 616.6 813.8
 Purchase 195.4 201.5 199.1 14.5 172.1 197.5 187.8
 Refinancing 1,360.3 1,537.8 1,600.6 -1.2 1,449.8 3,070.0 4,505.0
15-Year Mortgage Effective Interest Rate (%) 3.36 3.35 3.33 3.48
(5/14)
3.54 3.42 3.25
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