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Economy in Brief


U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Continue In Sideways Trend
by Tom Moeller  July 23, 2014

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that their total Mortgage Market Volume Index improved 2.4% last week (-31.9% y/y), making up roughly half of the prior week's decline. Applications remained two-thirds below the peak in September 2012. Applications to refinance an existing loan increased 4.1% (-40.8% y/y) while home purchase applications nudged 0.3% higher (-15.2% y/y).

The effective interest rate on a 15-year mortgage ticked up to 3.53%, still nearly the lowest rate since late-May. The effective rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan was unchanged at 4.39%. The rate on a Jumbo 30-year loan slipped to 4.27%. For adjustable 5-year mortgages, the effective interest rate gained to 3.32% but remained near its lowest level since late-May.

The average mortgage loan size improved to $243,700. For home purchases, the average loan size rose modestly to $272,600 and for refinancings it inched up to $219,400.

Applications for fixed interest rate loans declined 32.8% y/y while adjustable rate loan applications were off by 19.4% 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.

MBA Mortgage Applications (SA, 3/16/90=100) 07/18/14 07/11/14 07/04/14 Y/Y% 2013 2012 2011
Total Market Index 349.4 341.1 353.9 -31.9 616.6 813.8 572.3
 Purchase 168.3 167.8 181.7 -15.2 197.5 187.8 182.6
 Refinancing 1,382.3 1,327.4 1,328.9 -40.8 3,070.0 4,505.0 2,858.4
15-Year Mortgage Effective Interest Rate (%) 3.53 3.47 3.46 3.79
3.42 3.25 3.97
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