Recent Updates

  • Mexico: Service Sector, Retail and Wholesale Trade (Mar)
  • Macao: MICE Industry (Q1)
  • UK: Average Precipitation, Motor Vehicle Production (Apr)
  • Serbia: Bank Claims, Banking Survey (Apr)
  • Italy: ISTAT Business & Consumer Survey (May-Press)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

Mortgage Applications Fell Further, Rates Continued to Rise
by Tom Moeller April 21, 2004

The index of mortgage applications compiled by the Mortgage Bankers Association dropped another 5.6% (-29.5% y/y) last week, for the fourth consecutive steep weekly decline.

Applications to refinance tumbled 10.9% (-50% y/y) on the heels of a 30.7% drop the prior week.

Purchase applications ticked up 0.4% w/w (+20.6% y/y) after a 9.5% decline the prior week. So far in April purchase applications are 1.0% ahead of the March average.

The effective interest rate on a conventional 30-Year mortgage rose to 6.11% from 6.03% the week prior and versus 5.65% averaged in March. The effective rate on a 15-year mortgage rose to 5.49% from 5.45% the week prior and from 5.00% in March.

During the last ten years there has been a 56% correlation between the y/y change in purchase applications and the change in new plus existing home sales.

The Mortgage Bankers Association surveys between 20 to 35 of the top lenders in the U.S. housing industry to derive its refinance, purchase and market indexes. The weekly survey accounts for more than 40% of all applications processed each week by mortgage lenders. Visit the Mortgage Bankers Association site here.

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's testimony before the Joint Economic Committee on the economic outlook is available here.

MBA Mortgage Applications (3/16/90=100) 04/16/04 04/09/04 2003 2002 2001
Total Market Index 744.5 788.6 1,067.9 799.7 625.6
  Purchase 434.1 432.2 395.1 354.7 304.9
  Refinancing 2,550.3 2,861.6 4,981.8 3,388.0 2,491.0
large image