Mortgage applications shoot up

by Candyd Mendoza25 Sep 2020

Persistent homebuyer demand has pushed mortgage applications to rise last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Adjusted for the Labor Day holiday, MBA's Market Composite Index climbed 6.8% from the previous week. The index was 18% higher than the previous week on an unadjusted basis.

"Mortgage applications activity remained strong last week, even as the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and 15-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to their highest levels since late August," said Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.

Refinance applications jumped 9% week over week and was up 86% from the same week a year ago. The seasonally adjusted purchase index edged up 3% from the week prior while unadjusted purchase index spiked 13% week over week and 25% year over year.

"The strong interest in homebuying observed this summer has carried over to the fall," Kan said. "Despite the uptick in rates, refinance applications increased around 9% and were almost 86% higher than last year. Both conventional and government refinance activity, and in particular, FHA refinances, picked up last week."

Of total applications, the refinance share of mortgage activity grew from 62.8% to 64.3% while the adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 2.2%.

The FHA share saw a week-over-week gain, up from 9.7% to 10.1%. The VA share of total applications decreased from 12.3% to 12%, while the USDA share increased from 0.5% to 0.6% from a week earlier.

Other key insights from MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey:

  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) increased to 3.10 percent from 3.07 percent, with points increasing to 0.46 from 0.32 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate increased from the previous week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $510,400) decreased to 3.35 percent from 3.41 percent, with points increasing to 0.42 from 0.27 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from the previous week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 3.23 percent from 3.16 percent, with points increasing to 0.37 from 0.35 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from the previous week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 2.64 percent from 2.61 percent, with points increasing to 0.47 from 0.35 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.19 percent from 3.20 percent, with points increasing to 0.64 from 0.58 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from the previous week.