PhotoContract interest that in some cases fell to their lowest levels since last October helped push mortgage applications upward last week.

Data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey show applications were up 9.0% in the week ending January 15.

The Refinance Index increased 19%, raising the refinance share of mortgage activity to 59.1% of total applications from 55.8% the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity rose to 6.0% of total applications, the FHA share dipped to 13.7% from 14.4%, the VA share of total applications was 10.8%, and the USDA share of total applications slipped to 0.7% from 0.8% the week before.

Contract interest rates

  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) fell six basis points -- from 4.12% to 4.06% -- the lowest level since October 2015, with points increasing to 0.41 from 0.38 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year FRMs with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) dropped to its lowest level since October 2015 -- 3.93% from 4.02%, with points increasing to 0.31 from 0.30 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year FRMs backed by the FHA was down four basis points to 3.86%, the lowest level since October 2015, with points increasing to 0.36 from 0.34 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year FRMs fell from 3.42% to 3.29%, the lowest level since October 2015 with points unchanged at 0.39 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs rose six basis points to 3.20%, with points decreasing to 0.18 from 0.42 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The survey covers over 75% of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications.


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