Mortgage applications decreased 0.8 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 24, 2020.
… The Refinance Index decreased 0.4 percent from the previous week and was 121 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent compared with the previous week and was 21 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
“Mortgage rates remained near record lows for conventional loans last week, and refinances in the conventional sector continued to slightly increase. However, rates on FHA loans rose, leading to an almost 18 percent drop in FHA refinances,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Homebuyers stepped back slightly, and there was a larger drop in purchase application volume for FHA, VA, and USDA loans. This trend, along with the fact that average loan sizes are increasing, indicate that prospective first-time buyers are being impacted more by the rising economic stress caused by the resurgence in COVID-19 cases, as well as the uncertainty on how the next round of government support will take shape.”
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) remained unchanged at 3.20 percent, with points increasing to 0.37 from 0.35 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
The first graph shows the refinance index since 1990.
The refinance index has been very volatile recently depending on rates and liquidity.
But with record low rates, the index is up significantly from last year.
According to the MBA, purchase activity is up 21% year-over-year.
Note: Red is a four-week average (blue is weekly).