MBA: Mortgage Application Volume Up As Rates Dip

Mortgage application volume increased 4.7% during the week ending Jan. 17, compared to the week prior, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

On an unadjusted basis, volume increased 7% compared with the previous week.

Refinances also increased about 10% compared to the previous week. As such, the refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 64% of total applications, up from 62% the previous week.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, an indicator of incoming volume, decreased 4% compared to one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, it increased 2% compared with the previous week and was 15% lower than the same week one year ago.

The increase in purchase and refinance volume was likely due to the fact that interest rates dropped slightly during the previous two weeks. What's more, the holiday season is over, and home shoppers are getting ‘back to work,’ with the spring season just eight weeks away.

In the week ending Jan. 17, the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) with conforming loan balance ($417,000 or less) decreased to 4.57%, down from 4.66% the previous week.

The average rate for a 30-year FRM with jumbo loan balance (greater than $417,000) decreased to 4.57%, down from 4.58%.

The average rate for a 30-year FRM backed by the Federal Housing Administration decreased to 4.24% from 4.29%.

The average rate for a 15-year FRM decreased to 3.68% from 3.72%.

The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) decreased to 3.23% from 3.28%. The ARM share of activity decreased to 7% of total applications.

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