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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Continue Moving Sideways
by Tom Moeller  July 29, 2015

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that its total Mortgage Market Volume Index notched 0.8% higher last week (11.4% y/y) and remained near the level of late-May. Purchase applications were unchanged (+17.5% y/y) while applications to refinance improved 1.6% (6.0% y/y).

The effective interest rate on a 15-year mortgage also was fairly steady at 3.48%. The effective rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan eased to 4.28% but the rate on a Jumbo 30-year loan held at 4.22%. For adjustable 5-year mortgages, the effective interest rate slipped to 3.18%.

The average mortgage loan size declined to $256,500 (+5.1% y/y). For purchases, it fell to $284,800 (+5.8% y/y) and for refinancings it held at $229,000 (+3.1% y/y).

Applications for fixed interest rate loans increased 12.2% y/y while adjustable rate loan applications declined 3.2% 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) 07/24/15 07/17/15 07/10/15 Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Total Market Index 379.5 376.6 376.1 11.4 361.5 616.6 813.8
 Purchase 198.1 198.3 196.4 17.5 172.1 197.5 187.8
 Refinancing 1,406.3 1,384.8 1,392.4 6.0 1,449.8 3,070.0 4,505.0
15-Year Mortgage Effective Interest Rate (%) 3.48 3.52 3.51 3.50
3.54 3.42 3.25
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