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 December 12th, the composite mortgage application index, which includes both home purchase mortgages and refinancings, dipped 3.3%, reversing a 7.3% increase for the prior week. The decline in the composite application index was driven by a 7.0% decrease in purchase applications, as compared to the prior week, which was up slightly at 1%. The refinance component of the index was unchanged for the week, as compared to the the 13.0% increase for the prior week. Mortgage application activity failed to respond to a decline in interest rates as the average interest rate for conforming loans decreased to 4.06% as compared to 4.11% for the prior week. The decline in the mortgage application index is likely driven by seasonality as mortgage activity typically slows down prior to the holiday season. (Source: Bloomberg)
What it Means for Mortgage Borrowers
The dip in mortgage application activity should not come as a surprise given the expected real estate market holiday slowdown. Interest rates continue to be low which could boost activity heading into the new year as mortgage borrowers tend to become more active in January. If you are thinking about buying a home or refinancing your existing mortgage in early 2015, now is the perfect time to review the FREEandCLEAR Home Purchase Mortgage Guide and Mortgage Refinance Guide. Making sure you are the most organized, informed and prepared borrower is the best way to find the mortgage that is right for you. Additionally, use the INTEREST RATES feature on FREEandCLEAR to keep track of rates and fees for lenders in your area.
The FREEandCLEAR Mortgage Expert