by Bill McBride on 2/17/2016 07:00:00 AM
From the MBA: Refinance Applications Drive Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Mortgage applications increased 8.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 12, 2016.
The Refinance Index, Conventional Refinance Index and Government Refinance Index increased 16 percent from the previous week, reaching their highest levels since January 2015. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 30 percent higher 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 its lowest level since April 2015, 3.83 percent, from 3.91 percent, with points decreasing to 0.36 from 0.41 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
Click on graph for larger image.
The first graph shows the refinance index since 1990.
Refinance activity was higher in 2015 than in 2014, but it was still the third lowest year since 2000.
Refinance activity has picked up recently as rates have declined.
The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index.
According to the MBA, the unadjusted purchase index is 30% higher than a year ago.