Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| May 08 2024

U.S. Mortgage Applications Increase as Interest Rates Slip Last Week

  • Mortgage applications rise after two weeks of decline.
  • Purchase applications & refinancing applications both increase.
  • The effective interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans dips.

Mortgage applications rose 2.6% (-13.5% y/y) in the week ended May 3 after declines of 2.3% and 2.7% in the prior two weeks. Home purchase loans increased 1.8% (-17.0% y/y) following declines of 1.7% and 1.0% in the prior two weeks. Applications to refinance a loan improved 4.5% (-5.8% y/y) after declines of 3.3% and 5.6% in the prior two weeks. These data are from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

The effective interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan eased to 7.37% in the week ended May 3 from 7.48% in the prior week. It compared to a high of 8.12% in mid-October of last year and a low of 6.87% in the fourth week of December. The rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 6.75% in the latest week from 6.90% in the week prior. The rate on 30-year Jumbo loans declined to 7.44% last week from 7.53% in the week prior, while the rate on the 5-year ARM of 6.84% compared to 6.88% one week earlier. These latter rates remain below the 7.31% high in the last week of October but above the recent low of 5.93% in the last week of December.

The share of applications for refinancing an existing loan of 30.6% in the week ended May 3 compared to 30.2% in the prior week. That compared to a high of 39.7% in mid-December. The percentage of applications that were ARMs eased to 7.7% from 7.8%. The recent low of 5.4% was reached in early-January.

The average loan size rose 2.0% (-2.4% y/y) to $385,600 in the week ended May 3 from $378,200 in the prior week. The average size of a purchase loan increased 1.7% (0.6% y/y) to $443,200 in the latest week from $436,000 in the prior week. The average loan size to refinance a mortgage rose 4.3% (-8.2% y/y) to $255,100 from $244,600 in the prior week.

The Mortgage Bankers Association Survey covers 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 SURVEYS database.

  • Prior to joining Haver Analytics in 2000, Mr. Moeller worked as the Economist at Chancellor Capital Management from 1985 to 1999. There, he developed comprehensive economic forecasts and interpreted economic data for equity and fixed income portfolio managers. Also at Chancellor, Mr. Moeller worked as an equity analyst and was responsible for researching and rating companies in the economically sensitive automobile and housing industries for investment in Chancellor’s equity portfolio.   Prior to joining Chancellor, Mr. Moeller was an Economist at Citibank from 1979 to 1984.   He also analyzed pricing behavior in the metals industry for the Council on Wage and Price Stability in Washington, D.C.   In 1999, Mr. Moeller received the award for most accurate forecast from the Forecasters' Club of New York. From 1990 to 1992 he was President of the New York Association for Business Economists.   Mr. Moeller earned an M.B.A. in Finance from Fordham University, where he graduated in 1987. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from George Washington University.

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