Recent Updates

  • US: Consumer Sentiment (Sep-prelim)
  • Germany: Real Estate Opinion (Sep)
  • Slovakia: BOP (Jul)
  • Croatia: Short-term Indicators of Energy (Jul)
  • Mexico: IOAE - Estimated Econ Activity (Aug)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Increase
by Tom Moeller  May 19, 2021

• The volume of all applications remains well below January highs.

• Refinancings increase, but purchase applications decline.

• Mortgage interest rates edge higher.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's Loan Applications Index increased 1.2% (-0.4% y/y) in the week ended May 14, following a 2.1% rise in the previous week. Applications to purchase a home fell 4.1% (+2.5% y/y) after edging 0.8% higher in the previous week. Applications for refinancing strengthened 4.0% (-1.8% y/y) after a 2.9% increase in the previous week.

The refinance share of mortgage activity rose to 63.3% of total applications in the week ended May 14, its highest level since early-March, from 61.3% in the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity rose to 3.9% last week from 3.8% in the previous week, remaining well above its January 8 low of 1.6%.

The effective interest rate on a 30-year mortgage rose five basis points to 3.26%, still above its 2.95% low reached in December. The effective 15-year rate gained six basis points to 2.62%. The effective rate for a 30-year Jumbo mortgage rose to 3.39% from 3.37%. The rate on a five-year ARM rose to 2.67%, though still below its 4.61% high in October 2018.

The average mortgage loan size increased 0.2% (9.0% y/y) to $338,500 in the May 14 week, up from $337,700 the prior week. The average size of a loan to purchase a house rose 0.4% (24.4% y/y) to $411,400. The average size of a refinanced loan increased 1.3% (-1.1% y/y) to $296,100.

Applications for fixed-rate loans rose 1.1% (-1.2% y/y). Applications for adjustable-rate mortgages increased 3.8% (22.3% y/y).

This 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.

The minutes to the latest FOMC meeting can be found here.

MBA Mortgage Applications (%, SA) 05/14/21 05/07/21 04/30/21 Y/Y 2020 2019 2018
Total Market Index 1.2 2.1 -0.9 -0.4 63.0 32.4 -10.4
  Purchase -4.1 0.8 -2.5 2.5 11.4 6.6 2.1
  Refinancing 4.0 2.9 0.1 -1.8 111.0 71.1 -24.3
30-Year Effective Mortgage Interest Rate (%) 3.26 3.21 3.28 3.5

(May '20)

3.40 4.34 4.94
close
large image