Mortgage Loan Applications Sinking on Higher Loan Rates

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications this morning, noting a drop of 11.5% in the group's seasonally adjusted composite index. That followed a decline of 8.8% for the previous week. Mortgage loan rates rose again last week.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased by 2% from the previous report. On an unadjusted basis, the composite index fell by 20% week over week. The unadjusted purchase index decreased by 13% for the week, but is still up about 14% year over year.

The MBA's refinance index fell 15%, week over week, and is now at its lowest level since November 2011.

The share of refinancings fell from the previous week's total of 71% to 68%. This marks the fourth consecutive weekly decline in refinancings, and is the lowest level in nearly two years. Adjustable rate mortgage loans now account for 6% of all applications, up 1% from last week.

The average mortgage loan rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 3.9% to 4.07%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 4.07% to 4.20%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 3.10% to 3.23%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage loan rose from 2.6% to 2.76%.

Interest rates continue their steady rise, and the impact on refinancings is obvious. Mortgage loans for new purchases also are falling, but not nearly as fast as refinancings. The sliding purchase index could cast a shadow over the sunny outlook for home builders. This is worth keeping an eye on.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Housing, Research