U.S. Mortgage Applications Rebound
|in:Economy in Brief
- Refinancing and purchase applications both rise.
- Mortgage interest rate on a 30-year loan increases.
Mortgage applications increased 7.4% (-59.9% y/y) in the week ended March 3 following declines in the prior three weeks. These data are from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.
Applications to refinance an existing loan increased 9.4% (-76.1% y/y) after falling 6.1% in the prior week. Applications for purchase rose 6.6% (-42.3% y/y) following five straight weeks of decline.
The percentage of applications for refinancing an existing loan rose to 28.9% in the week ended March 3, up from 30.5% four weeks earlier. The percentage of ARM loans rose to 8.6% but remained down from a recent high of 12.8% in the second week of October.
The effective interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan rose to 7.02% from 6.93%. It was the highest level since the second week of November. The effective rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 6.50% last week from 6.36% in the prior week. The rate on 30-year Jumbo loans increased 6.67%. The rate on a 5-year ARM rose to 6.10% from 6.05% in the prior week.
The average loan size rose 0.7% (0.8% y/y) to $379,200 in the week ended March 3. The series high of $401,900 was reached in the week ended May 6. The average size of a purchase loan held steady (-5.6% y/y) at $425,700. The average loan size to refinance a mortgage rose 3.7% (-11.8% y/y) to $264,500.
The Mortgage Bankers 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.
Tom MoellerAuthorMore in Author Profile »
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.