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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Improve While Interest Rates Remain Unchanged
by Tom Moeller  July 9, 2014

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that their total Mortgage Market Volume Index moved 1.9% higher last week (-33.6% y/y) to the highest level in four weeks. Applications remained two-thirds below the peak in September 2012. Home purchase applications improved 3.7% (-9.9% y/y) while applications to refinance an existing loan inched 0.4% higher (-45.9% y/y).

The effective interest rate on a 15-year mortgage held steady last week at 3.46%, the lowest level since late-May. The effective rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan ticked up to 4.36%. The rate on a Jumbo 30-year loan was fairly steady at 4.29%. For adjustable 5-year mortgages, the effective interest rate also was nearly unchanged at 3.35%, its highest level since early-May.

The average mortgage loan size held steady at $247,400. The average loan size for home purchases was $275,700 and for refinancings it inched up to $220,900.

Applications for fixed interest rate loans declined 34.7% y/y while adjustable rate loan applications were off by 18.7% y/y.

The survey covers over 75 percent 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.

Households Ease Up on Adding New Debt from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland can be found here.

MBA Mortgage Applications (SA, 3/16/90=100) 06/04/14 06/27/14 06/20/14 Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Total Market Index 353.9 347.3 348.1 -33.6 616.6 813.8 572.3
 Purchase 181.7 175.2 176.4 -9.9 197.5 187.8 182.6
 Refinancing 1,328.9 1,323.9 1,322.6 -45.9 3,070.0 4,505.0 2,858.4
15-Year Mortgage Effective Interest Rate (%) 3.46 3.46 3.52 3.79
3.42 3.25 3.97
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