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The Latest on Mortgage Apps

The MBA recently released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending November 17, finding that mortgage applications increased by 0.1 percent week over week. Unadjusted, it decreased 2 percent, week-over-week.

Let’s take a look at the latest breakdown of mortgage applications …

  • The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 5 percent.
  • The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 1 percent compared with the previous week and was 4 percent higher than the same week in 2016.
  • The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 49.9 percent of total applications from 51.3 percent the previous week.
  • The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 6.5 percent of total applications.

In terms of FHA loans, total FHA applications increased to 10.6 percent, a week-over-week increase from 10.2 The VA share of total applications increased to 10.7 percent from 10.1 percent the week prior, while the USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.7 percent.

A look at 30- and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages:

  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) decreased to 4.20 percent from 4.18 percent.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,100) increased to 4.16 percent from 4.12 percent.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to its highest level since July 2017—at 4.08 percent.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to its highest level since March 2017 to 3.56 percent, from 3.54 percent.


The survey covers more than 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications. Respondents include mortgage banks, commercial banks, and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.

About Author: Nicole Casperson

Nicole Casperson is the Associate Editor of DS News and MReport. She graduated from Texas Tech University where she received her M.A. in Mass Communications and her B.A. in Journalism. Casperson previously worked as a graduate teaching instructor at Texas Tech's College of Media and Communications. Her thesis will be published by the International Communication Association this fall. To contact Casperson, e-mail: nicole.casperson@thefivestar.com.

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