The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) publishes the results of a weekly applications survey that covers roughly 50% of all residential mortgage originations. It also tracks the average interest rate for 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, as well as the volume of both purchase and refinance applications. The purchase application index has been highlighted as a particularly important data series, as it very broadly captures the demand side of residential real estate for both new- and existing-home purchases.
The latest data is showing that the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (from FHA and conforming GSE data) declined 7 basis points to 3.58% since last week, while the purchase application volume jumped a notable 15% and the refinance application volume also rose 15% over the same period. The following chart shows the average interest rate for 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages since 2006 as well as the purchase, refinance, and composite loan volumes.