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Economy in Brief


U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Pull Back
by Tom Moeller  October 29, 2014

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that their total Mortgage Market Volume Index declined 6.6% last week (-20.2% y/y) following three week's of improvement. Applications to refinance an existing loan fell 7.4% (-22.4% y/y) following the prior week's surge. Home purchase applications declined 5.0% (-15.9% y/y), the same as during the week prior.

The effective interest rate on a 15-year mortgage held steady w/w at 3.34%, remaining at the lowest level since May 2013. The effective rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan ticked up to 4.19% but remained down from 4.49% five weeks ago. The rate on a Jumbo 30-year loan rose to 4.17%. For adjustable 5-year mortgages, the effective interest rate was roughly stable at 3.10%. It was down versus last year's 3.74% peak and at the lowest level since June 2013.

The average mortgage loan size pulled back w/w to $270,700. For home purchases, it fell slightly to $283,600; for refinancings, it declined to $263,600.

Applications for fixed interest rate loans declined 21.7% y/y while adjustable rate loan applications rose 1.2% 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.

Do Unemployment Benefits Expirations Help Explain the Surge in Job Openings? from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is available here.

MBA Mortgage Applications (SA, 3/16/90=100) 10/24/14 10/17/14 10/10/14 Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Total Market Index 386.1 413.2 370.4 -20.2 616.6 813.8 572.3
 Purchase 155.2 163.4 171.7 -15.9 197.5 187.8 182.6
 Refinancing 1,715.3 1,852.3 1,502.4 -22.4 3,070.0 4,505.0 2,858.4
15-Year Mortgage Effective Interest Rate (%) 3.34 3.34 3.48 3.57
3.42 3.25 3.97
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