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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Improve
by Tom Moeller  June 21, 2017

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that its total Mortgage Applications Volume Index gained 0.6% (-14.7% y/y) in the week ended June 16, after a 2.8% increase during the prior week. Purchase applications eased 1.0% (+8.7% y/y) after a 2.8% fall. Applications to refinance rose 2.1% (-30.3% y/y) after a 9.2% jump.

The effective interest rate of 3.49% on a 15-year mortgage remained near the lowest level since late-November. The effective rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan of 4.23 also was near the seven-month low. The rate on a Jumbo 30-year loan held at 4.16%. For adjustable 5-year mortgages, the effective interest rate also held steady at 3.34%.

The average mortgage loan size eased to $294,500 (+2.8% y/y). For purchases, loan size increased to $316,800 (4.9% y/y); for refinancings, it fell to $268,900 (-2.6% y/y).

Applications for adjustable rate loans increased 12.2% y/y, while applications for fixed rate loans declined 16.4% y/y.

The survey covers over 75% 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) 06/16/17 06/09/17 06/02/17 Y/Y 2016 2015 2014
Total Market Index 0.6 2.8 7.1 -14.7 15.6 17.9 -41.4
 Purchase -1.0 -2.8 10.0 8.7 13.3 15.5 -12.9
 Refinancing 2.1 9.2 3.4 -30.3 17.3 19.7 -52.8
15-Year Mortgage Effective Interest Rate (%) 3.49 3.46 3.50 3.15 (June '16) 3.22 3.37 3.54
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