MBA: Mortgage Application Volume Falls To Lowest Level Since December 2000


Will the 2014 spring home shopping season ever kick into gear?

Mortgage application volume decreased 5.9% for the week ending April 25, on an adjusted basis, compared to the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

On an unadjusted basis, the index decreased 5% compared with the previous week. Applications for refinances decreased 7% while applications for purchases fell 4%. On an unadjusted basis, purchase application volume decreased 4% compared with the previous week and was 21% lower compared to the same week one year ago.

Mike Fratantoni, chief economist for the MBA, says purchase and refinance application activity has now fallen to its lowest level since December 2000. He points out that the 7% drop in refinance volume is a surprise because fixed mortgage rates actually decreased slightly last week.

Fratantoni says the refinance index is now at its ‘lowest level since 2008, continuing the declining trend that we have seen since May 2013.’ Â Â Â

As a result, the refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 50% of total applications, down from 51% the previous week, to reach its lowest level since July 2009.

Meanwhile, mortgage interest rates were more or less flat compared to the previous week and remain at historical lows.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) with conforming loan balance ($417,000 or less) was unchanged at 4.49%.

The average rate for a 30-year FRM with jumbo loan balance (greater than $417,000) was 4.37%, down from 4.41% the previous week.

The average rate for a 30-year FRM backed by the Federal Housing Administration was 4.17%, down from 4.20%.

The average rate for a 15-year FRM was 3.53%, down slightly from 3.55% the previous week.

The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) was 3.26%, up from 3.16% the week prior.

The ARM share of all mortgage activity remained unchanged at 8% of total applications.

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