Higher Mortgage Rates Didn't Deter Purchase Loan Activity
There was a jump in purchase mortgage applications during the week ended September 14 even as interest rates moved higher. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of applications volume, ticked down 0.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, as the increase in its Purchase Index offset a significant decline in refinance activity. The Index was up 10 percent on an unadjusted basis, bouncing back from a 9 percent decline the prior week which was shortened by the Labor Day holiday.
The Purchase Index increased 6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, posting its third consecutive week of gains. The unadjusted index was 16 percent higher than the week before and up 15 percent compared to the same week in 2018. The average loan for a purchase mortgage was $327,400.
Applications for refinancing eased back, its index reflected a 4.0 percent decline from the prior week. But given the surge in refinancing earlier in the year, the Refinancing Index is still 148 percent higher than at the same time in 2018. The share of total applications that were for refinancing also retreated, decreasing to 57.9 percent from 60.0 percent the previous week. BY: JANN SWANSON