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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Decline Sharply
by Tom Moeller  June 28, 2017

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that its total Mortgage Applications Volume Index declined 6.2% (-17.9% y/y) in the week ended June 23, after a 0.6% rise. It was the lowest level of applications in four weeks. Purchase applications fell 4.1% (+7.5% y/y) after a 1.0% fall. Applications to refinance were off 8.6% (-34.6% y/y) after a 2.1% rise.

The effective interest rate of 3.48% on a 15-year mortgage held steady and remained near the lowest level since late-November. The effective rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan of 4.23% remained near the seven-month low. The rate on a Jumbo 30-year loan held at 4.15%. For adjustable 5-year mortgages, the effective interest rate rose slightly to 3.40%.

The average mortgage loan size fell to $287,300 (-0.9% y/y). For purchases, loan size declined to $308,400 (+1.3% y/y); for refinancings, it fell to $262,100 (-6.2% y/y).

Applications for adjustable rate loans declined 2.7% y/y, while applications for fixed rate loans fell 18.9% 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) 06/23/17 06/16/17 06/09/17 Y/Y 2016 2015 2014
Total Market Index -6.2 0.6 2.8 -17.9 15.6 17.9 -41.4
 Purchase -4.1 -1.0 -2.8 7.5 13.3 15.5 -12.9
 Refinancing -8.6 2.1 9.2 -34.6 17.3 19.7 -52.8
15-Year Mortgage Effective Interest Rate (%) 3.48 3.49 3.46 3.15 (June '16) 3.22 3.37 3.54
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