At FREEandCLEAR, we follow the Mortgage Bankers’ Association (MBA) mortgage applications index which measures both purchase and refinance applications for mortgage lenders across the country. An increase in the MBA applications index reflects an increase in mortgage applications while a decrease in the index reflects a decline in mortgage applications. For the week ended November 14th, the composite mortgage application index, which includes both home purchase mortgages and refinancings, increased 4.9% driven by strong growth in purchase applications.
For the week ended November 14th, the purchase application index increased a robust 12.0% as compared to the prior week, which was up 1.0%. The refinance application index increased a modest 1% although the result reversed a negative trend as the refinance index was down 11.0% for the prior week. The composite index, which includes both purchase and refinance mortgage applications, increased 4.9% as compared to the prior week, which was down 0.9%. The boost in home purchase mortgage applications was a welcome sign following the deceleration in purchase application activity for the prior week. Interest rates remained relatively steady with the average interest rate for conforming loans decreasing very slightly to 4.18%, as compared to 4.19% for the prior week. (Source: Bloomberg)
What it Means for Mortgage Borrowers
Low interest rates seem to be slowly pulling home buyers into the real estate market. Although the purchase application index showed positive momentum for the week ended November 14th, purchase mortgage application activity for 2014 is down as compared to 2013. That means mortgage lenders should still be aggressively pursuing new mortgage business. Steady interest rates and active lenders means that it remains a good time for borrowers to purchase a home or refinance their existing mortgage. Check out our Mortgage Qualification Calculator to determine what size mortgage you can afford and our Refinance Calculator to assess if you should refinance your mortgage. You can also use our INTEREST RATES feature to keep track of interest rates and fees for lenders in your area.
The FREEandCLEAR Mortgage Expert