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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Increase While Interest Rates Slip
by Tom Moeller  June 24, 2015

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that its total Mortgage Market Volume Index nudged 1.6% higher last week (10.9% y/y) but remained one-third below the January peak. Purchase applications improved 1.2% (18.1% y/y). Applications to refinance gained 1.8% (4.3% y/y), only the third weekly increase in the last three months.

The effective interest rate on a 15-year mortgage eased to 3.47% but remained just below its highest level since early-October. The effective rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan fell to 4.30%. The rate on a Jumbo 30-year loan eased to 4.24%. For adjustable 5-year mortgages, the effective interest rate declined to 3.21%.

The average mortgage loan size improved to $262,500 (7.4% y/y). For purchases, it held steady at $290,500 (4.9% y/y) but for refinancings it rose to $233,400 (8.6% y/y).

Applications for fixed interest rate loans increased 11.4% y/y, but adjustable rate loan applications eased 0.9% 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) 06/19/15 06/12/15 06/05/15 Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Total Market Index 384.5 378.5 400.5 10.9 361.5 616.6 813.8
 Purchase 207.8 205.4 214.3 18.1 172.1 197.5 187.8
 Refinancing 1,379.9 1,354.9 1,455.2 4.3 1,449.8 3,070.0 4,505.0
15-Year Mortgage Effective Interest Rate (%) 3.47 3.51 3.45 3.50
3.54 3.42 3.25
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