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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Increase
by Tom Moeller  June 7, 2017

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that its total Mortgage Applications Volume Index increased 7.1% (-17.3% y/y) in the week ended June 2, after a 3.4% decline during the prior week. Purchase applications jumped 10.0% (4.8% y/y) after a 1.4% fall. Applications to refinance rose 3.4% (-33.9% y/y) after a 5.6% decline.

The effective interest rate on a 15-year mortgage 3.50% remained near the lowest level since late-November. The effective rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan eased to 4.24%. The rate on a Jumbo 30-year loan fell to 4.14%. For adjustable 5-year mortgages, the effective interest rate declined to 3.29%.

The average mortgage loan size held steady at $289,200 (4.5% y/y). For purchases, loan size decreased to $313, 200 (+3.1% y/y); for refinancings, it rose to $256,200 (1.1% y/y).

Applications for adjustable rate loans increased 23.4% y/y, while applications for fixed rate loans declined 19.4% y/y.

The survey covers over 75% 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) 06/02/17 05/26/17 05/19/17 Y/Y 2016 2015 2014
Total Market Index 7.1 -3.4 4.4 -17.3 15.6 17.9 -41.4
 Purchase 10.0 -1.4 -0.8 4.8 13.3 15.5 -12.9
 Refinancing 3.4 -5.6 10.5 -33.9 17.3 19.7 -52.8
15-Year Mortgage Effective Interest Rate (%) 3.50 3.51 3.55 3.15 (June '16) 3.22 3.37 3.54
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