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.
After falling back last week, the mortgage application index returned to positive territory for the week ended April 17th, continuing a strong run of mortgage activity over the course of March and April. Home purchase mortgage applications increased 5.0% for the week after declining 3.0% for the prior week. The refinance applications index increased 1.0% for the week after decreasing 2.0% for the prior week. The composite mortgage application index, which includes both home purchase mortgages and refinancings, increased 2.3%, reversing a 2.3% decline for the prior week. Driven by low interest rates, mortgage application activity bounced back nicely and continues to trend positively. Mortgage rates remained attractive as the average interest rate for conforming loans (mortgage amount less than $417,000) dropped to 3.83% as compared to 3.87% for the prior week. (Source: Bloomberg)
What it Means for Mortgage Borrowers
It is positive to see mortgage application activity pick up after the slight drop-off last week. Low interest rates and improving housing supply are pulling home buyers into the market. Existing home owners are also tempted by low rates but refinancing mortgage application activity has lagged purchase application activity over the past several weeks. Existing homeowners can use our Mortgage Refinance Calculator to determine how much money they can potentially save by refinancing. Prospective home buyers can use our Mortgage Selector Calculator to determine the mortgage amount and program that are right for them. Whether you are refinancing or buying a home, use our INTEREST RATES function to keep track of interest rates and fees for lenders in your area.
The FREEandCLEAR Mortgage Expert