Mortgage Purchase Activity Rises

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The latest tally of the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Application Survey shows a slight decline in the market composite index, consisting of both purchase and refinancing loan activity, of 1.5% from two weeks earlier on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending January 3, 2020. The purchase index rose by 5%, while the refinance index fell by 8%, with homeowners not spurred enough to refinance by the 8-basis point drop in the 30-year fixed rate mortgage. As shown below, refinancing activity has historically been more volatile than purchasing activity.

Overall, the new year started off stronger than the previous one, with total market activity, purchase activity, and refinancing activity showing year-over-year growth rates of 30%, 31%, and 73%, respectively. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 58.9 percent of total applications from 54.8 percent the previous week.



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