Mortgage applications jumped at the end of March

by Steve Randall03 Apr 2019

There was a strong rise in mortgage applications in the week ending March 31 according to the latest Mortgage Bankers Association data.

Its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey revealed an 18.6% jump in the seasonally adjusted Market Composite Index compared to the previous week (18% unadjusted).

"There was a tremendous surge in overall applications activity, as mortgage rates fell for the fourth week in a row - with rates for some loan types reaching their lowest levels since January 2018,” said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting.

The Purchase Index gained 3% adjusted and 4% unadjusted and was 10% higher than the same week of 2018.

The Refinance Index was up 39% week-over-week to its highest level since November 2016.

“Refinance borrowers with larger loan balances continue to benefit, as we saw another sizeable increase in the average refinance loan size to $438,900 - a new survey record," added Kan. "The average loan size for purchase loans declined slightly, as applications for smaller purchase loan sizes exceeded that of higher loan sizes - a positive sign that first-time buyers were increasingly active in the market."

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 47.4 percent of total applications from 40.4 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 9.5 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 8.8 percent from 9.3 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications remained unchanged from 10.4 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.6 percent the week prior.

Mortgage rates

 
Average contract interest rate (week ending 3/22)
Average contract interest rate (previous week)
Points (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans) (week ending 3/22)
Points (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans (previous week)
Effective rate
30yr FRM (conforming)
4.36%
4.45%
0.44
0.39
Decreased
30yr FRM (jumbo)
4.21%
4.35%
0.25
0.27
Decreased
30yr FRM
(FHA backed)
4.41%
4.48%
0.48
0.48
Decreased
15yr FRM
3.78%
3.87%
0.40
0.47
Decreased
5/1 ARM
3.77%
3.77%
0.38
0.30
Increased
 

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