Refinance activity has taken a dramatic leap skyward, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) weekly mortgage applications survey for the week ending July 13.
The MBA's refinance index increased 22% from the previous week and is at the highest level since mid-June. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 80.1% of total applications, up from 77% the previous week.
‘Refinance application volume increased last week to near peak levels for the year as mortgage rates dropped to a new low, driven down by growing concerns about the health of the U.S. economy,’ says Mike Fratantoni, MBA's vice president of research and economics. ‘Applications for Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) loans accounted for 24 percent of refinance activity last week, in line with the HARP share for the past few weeks.’
Separately, the MBA's market composite index increased 16.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the index increased 46% compared with the previous week.Â
The MBA's seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased 0.1% from one week earlier. However, the unadjusted purchase index increased more than 25% compared with the previous week and was 3% lower than the same week one year ago.
In June, the number of purchase and refinance applications increased the most in the West South Central region, with a gain of 22% in purchase and 63.7% in refinance applications. New England had the smallest increase in purchase applications, growing by 9.4%, while refinance applications increased the least in the Pacific region with a 30.9% gain.