Refi apps near 2017 high

An index of refinance mortgage application volume rose 5% from a week ago

Refi apps near 2017 high
Applications for mortgage loans saw an increase, with refinances nearing their largest share of total activity for the year, according to the weekly mortgage applications survey for the week ending Sept. 1 released by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The market composite index, which measures the volume of mortgage loan applications, posted a seasonally adjusted increase of 3.3% from the prior week. The index increased 2% on an unadjusted basis. The purchase index rose 1% on a seasonally adjusted basis and fell 1% on an unadjusted basis.
The refinance index rose 5% week over week.

As a percentage of all mortgage activity, refinances made up 50.9%, its highest level since January. This compares to a 49.4% share last week. Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) comprised 7.2% of all applications. Applications for FHA and VA loans fell during the week. FHA loans made up 9.6% of the total, down from 9.7% a week ago. VA applications slipped to 9.7% from 10.0%. The share of USDA applications was unchanged a 0.7%.

Meanwhile, the average contract interest rates for various loan types fell during the week to their lowest levels since November 2016.

The average for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with conforming loan balances was 4.06%. Points fell to 0.38 from 0.43, including the origination fee, for 80% loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with jumbo loan balances had an average rate of 3.96%. Points were unchanged at 0.20 for 80% LTV loans.

The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA also fell to 3.98%, with points also slipping to 0.35 from 0.41 for 80% LTV loans. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage posted a decline in its average rate to 3.34% as points remained at 0.38 for 80% LTV loans. For 5/1 ARMs, the average rate fell to 3.14%, as points fell to 0.31 from 0.35 for 80% LTV loans.