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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Decline
by Tom Moeller  June 24, 2020

• Loan applications for purchase ease.

• Refinancing declines.

• 15-year fixed-rate mortgage remains near seven-year low.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that its total Mortgage Applications Index backpedaled by 8.7% (+48.0% y/y) during the week ending June 19 after rising 8.0% in the prior week. Applications to purchase a home fell 3.0% (+18.1% y/y) following a 3.5% rise. Applications to refinance a loan declined 11.7% (+76.2% y/y), reversing the 10.3% gain during the prior week.

The effective interest rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage edged higher to 2.89%. Thirty-year fixed rates rose to 3.39% while 30-year jumbo rates fell to 3.70%. Five-year adjustable rates worked lower to 3.09%.

The average mortgage loan size rose to $326,300 (-5.4% y/y) but remained below the early-March high of $367,900. For purchases, the average loan size increased to $359,200 (11.0% y/y) while refinancing loans eased to $305,500 (-16.3% y/y).

Applications for fixed-rate loans increased 54.5% y/y, while adjustable rate mortgages fell 29.3% 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) 06/19/20 06/12/20 06/05/20 Y/Y 2019 2018 2017
Total Market Index -8.7 8.0 9.3 48.0 32.4 -10.4 -17.8
  Purchase -3.0 3.5 5.3 18.1 6.6 2.1 5.6
  Refinancing -11.7 10.3 11.4 76.2 71.1 -24.3 -34.0
15-Year Effective Mortgage Interest Rate (%) 2.89 2.87 2.89

3.54
(Jun '19)

3.71 4.35 3.59
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