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Mortgage Applications Rise in March

Mortgage Applications Rise in March


According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 8, 2019, U.S. mortgage applications increased 2.3 percent from one week earlier.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 2.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 3 percent compared with the previous week.

The Refinance Index decreased 0.2 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 4 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 6 percent compared with the previous week and was 2 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

"Led by a 5.5 percent increase in FHA loan applications, purchase activity picked up last week and was almost 2 percent higher than a year ago," said Joel Kan, Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Purchase applications have now increased year-over-year for four weeks, which signals healthy demand entering the busy spring buying season. However, the pick-up in the average loan size continues, with the average balance reaching another record high. With more inventory in their price range compared to first-time buyers, move-up and higher-end buyers continue to have strong success finding a home."

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 38.6 percent of total applications from 40.0 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 7.2 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 10.4 percent from 10.3 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 10.2 percent from 10.4 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.6 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) decreased to 4.64 percent from 4.67 percent, with points increasing to 0.47 from 0.44 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $484,350) increased to 4.45 percent from 4.41 percent, with points increasing to 0.34 from 0.25 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 4.61 percent from 4.66 percent, with points decreasing to 0.47 from 0.48 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.02 percent from 4.08 percent, with points decreasing to 0.44 from 0.46 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 4.09 percent from 4.08 percent, with points decreasing to 0.26 from 0.39 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

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