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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Fall Back as Rates Increase
by Tom Moeller  June 17, 2015

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that its total Mortgage Market Volume Index backpedaled 5.5% last week (+7.7% y/y) and remained one-third below the January peak. Purchase applications decreased 4.2% (+15.0% y/y). Applications to refinance declined 6.9% (+1.6% y/y) and reversed all of the prior week's rise.

The effective interest rate on a 15-year mortgage rose to 3.51%, its highest level since early-October. The effective rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan improved to 4.35%. The rate on a Jumbo 30-year loan was fairly steady at 4.28%. For adjustable 5-year mortgages, the effective interest rate rose to 3.34%, up from April's low of 2.92%.

The average mortgage loan size fell to $261,200 (+6.5% y/y). For purchases, it declined to $290,600 (+4.3% y/y) and for refinancings it eased to $230,200 (+7.5% y/y).

Applications for fixed interest rate loans increased 6.3% y/y, but adjustable rate loan applications declined 11.2% 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) 06/12/15 06/05/15 05/29/15 Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Total Market Index 378.5 400.5 369.5 7.7 361.5 616.6 813.8
 Purchase 205.4 214.3 195.4 15.0 172.1 197.5 187.8
 Refinancing 1,354.9 1,455.2 1,360.3 1.6 1,449.8 3,070.0 4,505.0
15-Year Mortgage Effective Interest Rate (%) 3.51 3.45 3.36 3.50
(6/14)
3.54 3.42 3.25
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