Mortgage applications decreased 3.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending August 30, 2019.
… The Refinance Index decreased 7 percent from the previous week and was 152 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 4 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 1 percent compared with the previous week and was 5 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
“Ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and China led to volatile, yet declining Treasury rates last week, causing the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to fall to 3.87 percent, its lowest level since November 2016,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Despite lower borrowing costs, refinances were down from its recent peak two weeks ago, but still remained over 150 percent higher than last August, when rates were almost a percentage point higher.”
Added Kan, “Purchase applications increased 1 percent last week and were 5 percent higher than a year ago. Consumers continue to act on these lower rates, but the volatility in the market is likely leading some borrowers to pause refinancing and buying decisions.”
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) decreased to 3.87 percent from 3.94 percent, with points decreasing to 0.34 from 0.38 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
The first graph shows the refinance index since 1990.
Mortgage rates have declined from close to 5% late last year to under 4%.
With lower rates, we saw a recent sharp increase in refinance activity.
According to the MBA, purchase activity is up 5% year-over-year.