Mortgage applications increased 2.9 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 30, 2016.
… The Refinance Index increased 5 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 0.1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 0.2 percent compared with the previous week and was 14 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 3.62 percent, the lowest level since July 2016, from 3.66 percent, with points decreasing to 0.32 from 0.33 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
The first graph shows the refinance index since 1990.
Refinance activity has increased this year since rates have declined.
The purchase index was “14 percent lower than the same week one year ago”. Don’t read too much into the year-over-year decline – remember last year there was a 27% jump in applications the week prior to the TILA-RESPA regulatory change. Next week applications will be up year-over-year.