Mortgage Applications Tumbled Nearly 10% Thanksgiving Week

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Mortgage application volume fell 9.2% on an adjusted basis last week, due mainly to the Thanksgiving holiday, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey shows.

The MBA notes that because the Thanksgiving holiday was a week later this year, the year-over-year results for this week’s survey are somewhat “distorted.” 

For the week ended November 29, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, based on closings, was 3.97%, unchanged compared with the previous week.

Applications for refinances fell 16% compared with the previous week – however, applications for refinances were still up 61% compared with the same week one year earlier.

Applications for purchases increased 1%.

On an unadjusted basis, total volume fell 38% compared with the previous week.

Applications for purchases dropped 33% on an unadjusted basis and were down 24% compared with a year earlier.

“U.S. Treasury rates stayed flat last week, as uncertainty surrounding the U.K. elections offset positive domestic news on consumer spending,” says Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting for the MBA, in a statement. “Despite the 30-year fixed rate remaining unchanged at 3.97 percent, mortgage applications fell last week, driven down by a 16 percent drop in refinances. Purchase applications were up slightly but declined 24 percent from a year ago. This week’s year-over-year comparisons were distorted by Thanksgiving being a week later this year.” 

Kan adds that the “purchase market overall looks healthy as we enter the home stretch of 2019.”

“The seasonally adjusted purchase index was at its highest level since July, as a combination of wage gains, slower home-price appreciation, and slightly easing inventory conditions continue to support increased activity,” he says.

The refinance share of mortgage activity fell to 59.0%, down from 62.0%.

The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity remained unchanged at 4.8% of total applications.

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