Weekly App Volume Jumps 9% as Rates Reach a Three-Month Low: MBA

Mortgage applications leapt 9% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending Jan. 15 compared to one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The MBA's Market Composite Index, which measures mortgage loan application volume, increased 12% on an unadjusted basis from last week.

Refinance application volume was up 19% from the previous week. Purchase apps were down 2% on a seasonally adjusted basis and up 4% on an unadjusted basis from the previous week. On an unadjusted basis, purchase apps were 17% higher than the same week a year ago.

Refinancings as a share of all mortgage activity increased three basis points to 59.1% of total applications.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) fell six basis points to 4.06%. The 30-year jumbo ($417,000 or greater) fixed-rate mortgage fell 12 basis points to 4.02%. These were the lowest levels since October.

However, applications for mortgages for new home purchases fell 5% for the month of December when compared to November.

New-home sales fell 8% on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the MBA's Builder Application Survey, which tracks application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of homebuilders nationwide.

Conventional loans made up 68% of all loan applications; Federal Housing Administration-insured loans, 18.5%; U.S. Department of Agriculture loans, 1%; and Veterans Affairs-guaranteed loans 12.6%.

The average size of a mortgage for a new home rose 3.8% to $333,182.

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