New homeThe Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications this morning, noting a rise of 7% in the group's seasonally adjusted composite index, following a rise of 15.2% for the previous week.

The seasonally adjusted purchase applications index rose by 3% from the previous report. On an unadjusted basis, the composite index rose 9% week-over-week. Year-over-year the unadjusted purchase index is up 26%.

Though this week's increases are smaller than last week's, the upward trend continues. The historically low interest rates certainly have a lot to do with that, especially for folks looking to refinance existing mortgages. Applications for refinancing remained flat at 82% (seasonally adjusted).

The average contract interest rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 3.61% to 3.62%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased, from 3.88% to 3.85%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 2.88% to 2.87%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage decreased from 2.66% to 2.61%.

Later this morning we get the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) house price index. The consensus estimate calls for a rise of 0.7% in the index. Rising home prices and very low mortgage interest rates are combining to weigh down the inventory of homes for sale. The issue now becomes one of improving the inventory.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Housing, Research

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