Our goal at FREEandCLEAR is to empower borrowers to make better mortgage decision and save money through education and information. We typically focus on providing tools, resources and content that help mortgage consumers understand and manage the mortgage process. From time-to-time we will also highlight key mortgage industry statistics or trends to keep the FREEandCLEAR community informed on the overall performance of the mortgage market. In addition to reporting the statistics we will also try to communicate its relevance to borrowers.
One important statistic that measures the strength of the mortgage market is the Mortgage Bankers’ Association (MBA) mortgage applications index which measures both purchase and refinance applications for mortgage lenders across the country (on a related note, FREEandCLEAR provides an overview and example of a mortgage application as part of our Home Purchase Mortgage Process Guide). The MBA applications index is typically reported on a weekly basis with an increase in the index reflecting an increase in mortgage applications and a decrease in the index reflecting a decrease in mortgage applications. For the week ended August 8th, 2014, the purchase application index declined 1.0% as compared to the prior week and the refinance application index declined 4.0% as compared to the prior week. The composite index, which includes both purchase and refinance mortgage applications, declined 2.7% as compared to the prior week. (Source: Bloomberg)
What it Means for Borrowers
Flat-to-declining mortgage applications mean that home buyers continue to face some challenges finding properties they can afford while the refinance market remains weak as many borrowers have already refinanced. Fewer mortgage applications should increase lender competition for qualified borrowers, which should benefit mortgage consumers. You can always use the COMPARE LENDERS function on FREEandCLEAR to review interest rates and costs for lenders in your area to see how this increased competition benefits you.
The FREEandCLEAR Mortgage Expert