Mortgage Applications Fell as Rates Edged Back Up

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Mortgage application volume decreased 2.7% on an adjusted basis during the week ended January 18, as fixed mortgage rates edged up slightly, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey.

Applications for refinances decreased 5% from the previous week while applications for purchases decreased 2%.

On an unadjusted basis, total volume dipped 0.3% compared with the previous week.

Applications for purchases increased 4% on an unadjusted basis and were 13% higher compared with the same week one year earlier.

“Mortgage application activity cooled off last week after two consecutive weeks of sizeable increases,” says Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting for the MBA, in a statement. “Both purchase and refinance applications saw declines but remained at healthy levels, with the purchase index remaining close to a nine-year high, and the refinance index hovering near its highest level since last spring.”

“Reversing the recent downward trend, rates increased for most loan types last week, due to better-than-expected unemployment claims, easing trade tensions and stabilization in the equity markets,” he adds.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 44.5% of total applications, down from 46.8% the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 8.3% of total applications.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, based on closings, was 4.75%, down from 4.74%.

The average rate for a 5/1 ARM was 4.12%, up from 4.08%.

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