Mortgage application increases continue

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WASHINGTON — Mortgage applications increased 6.8% from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 18, 2020. The previous week’s results included an adjustment for the Labor Day holiday.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 6.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 18% compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 9% from the previous week and was 86% higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 3% from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 13% compared with the previous week and was 25% higher than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage applications activity remained strong last week, even as the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and 15-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to their highest levels since late August. Purchase applications were up over 25% from a year ago, and the demand for higher-balance loans pushed the average purchase loan size to another record high. The strong interest in homebuying observed this summer has carried over to the fall,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “Despite the uptick in rates, refinance applications increased around 9% and were almost 86% higher than last year. Both conventional and government refinance activity, and in particular FHA refinances, picked up last week.”

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The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 64.3% of total applications from 62.8% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 2.2% of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 10.1% from 9.7% the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 12.0% from 12.3% the week prior. The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.6% from 0.5% the week prior.

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