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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Decline
by Tom Moeller  June 29, 2016

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that its total Mortgage Market Volume Index declined 2.6% last week (+38.7% y/y) and reversed the prior week's rise. Purchase applications fell 3.0% (+12.9% y/y) while refinancing applications declined 2.4% (+63.4% y/y).

The effective interest rate on a 15-year mortgage remained little changed at 3.12%. Rates remained down from the 3.50% highs of November and December. The effective rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan was steady at 3.86%, but was down versus 4.28% near year-end. The rate on a Jumbo 30-year loan ticked up to 3.84%. For adjustable 5-year mortgages, the effective interest rate held at 2.99%.

The average mortgage loan size rose to $289,800 (10.4% y/y). For purchases, it increased to $304,400 (4.7% y/y); for refinancings, it rose to $279,300 (19.8% y/y).

Applications for fixed interest rate loans increased 40.4% y/y, while adjustable-rate loan applications gained 10.2% y/y.

The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. The base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100. The figures for weekly mortgage applications and interest rates are available in Haver's SURVEYW database.

MBA Mortgage Applications (%, SA) 06/24/16 06/17/16 06/10/16 Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Total Market Index -2.6 2.9 -2.4 38.7 17.9 -41.4 -24.2
 Purchase -3.0 -2.4 -4.9 12.9 15.5 -12.9 5.2
 Refinancing -2.4 6.5 -0.7 63.4 19.7 -52.8 -31.9
15-Year Mortgage Effective Interest Rate (%) 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.13 3.37 3.54 3.42
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