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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Improve; Rates Reach November High
by Tom Moeller  June 10, 2015

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that its total Mortgage Market Volume Index rebounded 8.4% last week (4.3% y/y) following several weeks of decline. Purchase applications increased 9.7% (14.8% y/y). Applications to refinance gained 7.0% (-4.8% y/y).

The effective interest rate on a 15-year mortgage rose to 3.45%, its highest level since November. The effective rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan improved to 4.28%. The rate on a Jumbo 30-year loan also gained to 4.25%. For adjustable 5-year mortgages, the effective interest rate rose to 3.24% and remained up from April's low of 2.92%.

The average mortgage loan size improved to $266,700 (8.0% y/y). For purchases, it rose to $295,600 (7.0% y/y) and for refinancings it increased to $236,500 (6.7% y/y).

Applications for fixed interest rate loans increased 6.2% y/y, but adjustable rate loan applications declined 17.9% 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.

MBA Mortgage Applications (SA, 3/16/90=100) 06/05/15 05/29/15 05/22/15 Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Total Market Index 400.5 369.5 399.9 4.3 361.5 616.6 813.8
 Purchase 214.3 195.4 201.5 14.8 172.1 197.5 187.8
 Refinancing 1,455.2 1,360.3 1,537.8 -4.8 1,449.8 3,070.0 4,505.0
15-Year Mortgage Effective Interest Rate (%) 3.45 3.36 3.35 3.50
(6/14)
3.54 3.42 3.25
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