MBA: Application Volume Up Overall, But Purchase Volume Fell

Mortgage application volume increased 1.4%, on an adjusted basis, during the week ending Aug. 15, compared to the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

On an unadjusted basis, volume was up 1% compared with the previous week.

The overall increase was driven by a 3% jump in application volume for refinances. Applications for purchases decreased 0.4% from one week earlier.

On an unadjusted basis, application volume for purchases fell 2% compared with the previous week and was 11% lower than the same week one year ago.

Mike Fratantoni, chief economist for the MBA, explains that while application volume for conventional mortgages actually increased, this was offset by a ‘5.9 percent decline in the number of applications for government mortgages, with both purchase and refinance applications declining.’

‘Within the government sector, this decline was led by an 8 percent decline in unadjusted Department of Veterans Affairs applications, while Federal Housing Administration [FHA] and Rural Housing Service unadjusted applications also fell by 5 percent and 3 percent respectively,’ he says.

Fratantoni adds that the jump in applications for refinances was due mainly to the fact that ‘interest rates dropped last week as a result of the ongoing turmoil in Ukraine and other international concerns.’

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 55% of total applications from 54% the previous week.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) with conforming loan balance ($417,000 or less) was 4.29%, down from 4.35% the week prior.

The average rate for a 30-year FRM with jumbo loan balance (greater than $417,000) was 4.18%, down from 4.24% the previous week.

The average rate for a 30-year FRM backed by the FHA was 3.99%, down from 4.04% the week prior.

The average rate for a 15-year FRM was 3.44%, down from 3.48% the previous week.

The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) was 3.10%, down from 3.24% the week prior. The ARM share of activity stood at about 7.8% of total applications.


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