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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Continue Moving Sideways
by Tom Moeller  August 12, 2015

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that its total Mortgage Market Volume Index notched 0.1% higher last week (17.9% y/y) and remained near the level of late-May. Purchase applications fell 3.5% (+20.1% y/y) while applications to refinance improved 3.1% (16.1% y/y).

The effective interest rate on a 15-year mortgage remained steady at 3.48%. The effective rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan also held at 4.22% as did the rate on a Jumbo 30-year loan at 4.18%. For adjustable 5-year mortgages, the effective interest rate edged up to 3.23%.

The average mortgage loan size rose slightly to $265,100 (8.1% y/y). For purchases, it eased to $288,200 (+4.1% y/y) but for refinancings it rose to $244,800 (12.2% y/y).

Applications for fixed interest rate loans increased 18.9% y/y while adjustable rate loan applications improved 3.4% 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.

What's Holding Back Home Building? from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia can be found here.

MBA Mortgage Applications (SA, 3/16/90=100) 08/07/15 07/31/15 07/24/15 Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Total Market Index 397.5 397.2 379.5 17.9 361.5 616.6 813.8
 Purchase 197.4 204.6 198.1 20.1 172.1 197.5 187.8
 Refinancing 1,534.8 1,488.8 1,406.3 16.1 1,449.8 3,070.0 4,505.0
15-Year Mortgage Effective Interest Rate (%) 3.48 3.46 3.48 3.56
3.54 3.42 3.25
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