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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Increase
by Tom Moeller  June 17, 2020

• Loan applications for purchase surge.

• Refinancing strength continues.

• 15-year fixed rate mortgage declines to seven-year low of 2.87%.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that its total Mortgage Applications Index rose 8.0% (65.5% y/y) during the week ending June 12. Applications to purchase a home increased 3.5% (20.1% y/y) while refinance activity jumped 10.3% (106.0% y/y).

The effective interest rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage eased to 2.87%. Thirty-year fixed rates declined to 3.38% while 30-year jumbo rates slipped to 3.75%. Five-year adjustable rates edged higher to 3.18%.

The average mortgage loan size rose to $325,500 (-3.6% y/y), still below the early-March high of $367,900. For purchases, the average loan size increased to $354,000 (7.7% y/y) while refinancing loans rose to $308,900 (-10.8% y/y).

Applications for fixed-rate loans increased 71.2% y/y, while adjustable rate mortgages fell 23.1% 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) 06/12/20 06/05/20 05/29/20 Y/Y 2019 2018 2017
Total Market Index 8.0 9.3 -3.9 65.5 32.4 -10.4 -17.8
  Purchase 3.5 5.3 5.3 20.1 6.6 2.1 5.6
  Refinancing 10.3 11.4 -8.6 106.0 71.1 -24.3 -34.0
15-Year Effective Mortgage Interest Rate (%) 2.87 2.89 2.92

3.54
(Jun '19)

3.71 4.35 3.59
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