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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Rebound
by Tom Moeller  June 8, 2016

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that its total Mortgage Market Volume Index increased 9.3% last week (29.9% y/y) following a 4.1% decline during the week prior. Purchase applications jumped 11.7% (16.6% y/y) and more than made up the prior week's drop. Applications to refinance also jumped 7.4% (42.3% y/y) after a 3.9% decline.

The effective interest rate on a 15-year mortgage was little changed at 3.20%. Rates remained down from the 3.50% highs of November and December. The effective rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan eased to 3.93%, but was down versus 4.28% near year-end. The rate on a Jumbo 30-year loan was 3.88%. For adjustable 5-year mortgages, the effective interest rate eased to 3.07%.

The average mortgage loan size was fairly steady w/w at $276,700 (3.7% y/y). For purchases, it was $303,700 (2.7% y/y); for refinancings, it was $253,500 (7.2% y/y).

Applications for fixed interest rate loans increased 31.8% y/y, while adjustable-rate loan applications gained 2.6% 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) 06/03/16 05/27/16 05/20/16 Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Total Market Index 9.3 -4.1 2.3 29.9 17.9 -41.4 -24.2
 Purchase 11.7 -4.7 4.8 16.6 15.5 -12.9 5.2
 Refinancing 7.4 -3.9 0.4 42.3 19.7 -52.8 -31.9
15-Year Mortgage Effective Interest Rate (%) 3.20 3.22 3.16 3.33 3.37 3.54 3.42
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