Refis take biggest share of app activity since January

by Francis Monfort15 Dec 2017
Applications for refinances recorded their biggest share of overall activity as total volume decreased for the week ending Dec. 8, according to the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey released by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The MBA’s Market Composite Index, which measures loan application volume, fell 2.3 on a seasonally adjusted basis and decreased 4% on an unadjusted basis from the previous period. The Refinance Index fell 3%. The Purchase Index slipped 1% on a seasonally adjusted basis and declined 6% on an unadjusted basis from the prior period. The unadjusted Purchase Index was 10% higher compared to the same period in 2016.

Refinances recorded their highest share of mortgage activity since January after the refi share rose to 52.4% of total applications from 51.6% in the previous period. The share of adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) fell to 5.6% of total applications.

Applications for FHA mortgages made up 11.8% of all activity, an increase from the previous 11.1% share. The VA share of total applications decreased to 10.3% from 10.7% in the prior period. The share of USDA applications slipped to 0.7% from 0.8%.

Changes in average contract interest rates for various mortgage types were mixed during the period. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances averaged 4.2%, up from 4.19%, with points decreasing to 0.39 from 0.40 including the origination fee for 80% loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage backed by the FHA posted an average rate of 4.13%, an increase from 4.11% to its highest level since April. Points fell to 0.39 from 0.40. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 3.61%, its highest level since March, from 3.59%, with points decreasing to 0.44 from 0.48.

Meanwhile, average rates decrease for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances to 4.11% from 4.16, with points unchanged at 0.28, and for the 5/1 ARMs to 3.42% from 3.48%, with points increasing to 0.48 from 0.46.

Related stories:
Mortgage applications rise 4.7%
Refi activity share slips amid app volume decline