The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) says its Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage application volume, moved higher during the week ended September 21 as did all of its seasonally adjusted and unadjusted components.  It was the second straight week that all of the MBA indices gained ground, the first such double play since early 2016.

The Component index was up 2.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to the week ended September 14 and 2.0 percent on an unadjusted basis.  The volume of applications for purchase mortgages increased 3 percent on an adjusted basis, the fourth week in a row that measure has gained ground.  It was up 2 percent before adjustment.  The unadjusted version was 4 percent higher than during the same week in 2017.

The Refinancing Index rose 3 percent from its prior level and the refinancing share of total applications increased to 39.4 percent from 39.0 percent the previous week.


Refi Index vs 30yr Fixed



Purchase Index vs 30yr Fixed



The distribution of applications across loan types shifted slightly with the FHA share dipping to 10.4 percent from 10.6 percent.  The VA loan share ticked up 0.1 point to 10.1 percent while the USDA portion was unchanged at 0.7 percent.

Interest rates for all types of loans moved higher on both a contract and an effective rate.  The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with origination balances at or below the current conforming limit of $453,100 reached its highest level since April 2011, 4.97 percent with 0.47 point.  The previous week the rate was 4.88 percent with 0.44 point.

The 30-year jumbo FRM, loans with balances higher than the conforming limit, had an average rate of 4.92 percent, up 15 basis points from the prior week.  Points increased to 0.30 from 0.28.

The rate for 30-year FRM backed by the FHA increased from 4.90 percent to 4.94 percent during the week. Points averaged 0.83 compared to 0.73 the prior week.

Fifteen year FRM had an average rate of 4.38 percent, up from 4.30 percent. Points increased from 0.49 to 0.52.

The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose to the highest level since MBA began tracking the product, 4.22 percent with 0.60 point. The previous week the rate was 4.17 percent with 0.29 point. The share of applications for ARMs remained at 6.5 percent of the total.

MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications.  Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts.  Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100 and interest rate information is based on loans with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio and points that include the origination fee.