Lower Rates did little for Mortgage Application Volume from Les and Elaine

Elaine2aMortgage applications were mixed and largely flat during the week ended February 27.  The Mortgage Bankers Association said its Market Composite Index, a measure of application volume, increased 0.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week ended February 20.  On an unadjusted basis the Index was up 12 percent from the previous week which had been adjusted to reflect that period’s Presidents’ Day holiday.

The Refinancing Index eked out a 1 percent increase from one week earlier and applications for refinancing made up 62 percent of all mortgage applications, unchanged from the week before.   The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index slipped 0.2 percent while the unadjusted Purchase Index gained 14 percent compared to the prior week but was 0.2 percent below its level during the same week in 2014.

The FHA share of total applications decreased from a 15.3 percent share to 14.6 percent while the VA share increased 2 basis points to 9.8 percent and USDA’s share of slipped to 0.8 percent from 0.9 percent.  The seasonally adjusted conventional Refinance Index increased 2.2 percent to the highest level since the week ending February 13, 2015.

Contract interest rates decreased for all mortgage products.  Effective rates also decreased except for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) which remained unchanged.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year FRM with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 3.96 percent from 3.99 percent, with points decreasing to 0.30 from 0.33.  The jumbo 30-year FRM with loan balances greater than $417,000 fell from 4.09 percent with 0.21 points to 3.95 percent with 0.27 point.

Thirty-year FRM backed by the FHA had a rate of 3.75 percent with 0.21 point.  A week earlier the rate was 3.82 percent with 0.15 point.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.27 percent from 3.28 percent.  Points were unchanged at 0.30.

Applications for adjustable rate mortgages (ARM) constituted 5.4 percent of the total for the week, up from 5.2 percent in the previous period.   The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.05 percent from 3.28 percent, with points increasing to 0.50 from 0.31.

MBA’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications.  Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100 and interest rate information presumes loans with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio with points including the origination fee.

Elaine                                                     
DRE #00598428
Senior Director, Coldwell Banker New Homes Division
With over 200 condominium, townhome and loft projects successfully marketed

“Fewer properties for sale with such remarkably low interest rates make it a great time to sell but a more difficult time to buy”

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