Mortgage app volume improves amid higher rates

by Francis Monfort23 Sep 2018

The volume of mortgage applications increased during the week ending September 14 as average interest rates for various mortgage types increased, according to the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey released by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 1.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis and roses 12% on an unadjusted basis. The previous period’s results included an adjustment for the Labor Day holiday.

The Refinance Index rose 4%. The Purchase Index increased 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis and gained 9% on an unadjusted basis. The unadjusted Purchase Index was 4% higher than the same week in 2017.

Applications for refinances accounted for 39% of overall activity, up from their previous share of 37.8%. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 6.5%.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 10.6% from 10.4%, while the VA share decreased to 10% from 10.5%. The USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.7% from 0.8%.

Rates for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with conforming loan balances averaged 4.88%, its highest level since April 2011 and an increase from 4.84%, with points decreasing to 0.44 from 0.46. The average for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances increased to 4.77% from 4.72%, with points decreasing to 0.28 from 0.47.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased posted an average rate of 4.9%, up from 4.84%, with points increasing to 0.73 from 0.51. The average for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.3% from 4.28%, with points increasing to 0.49 from 0.47. Rates for 5/1 ARMs increased to 4.17% from 4.07%, with points decreasing to 0.29 from 0.30.