The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) publishes the results of a weekly applications survey that covers roughly 50% of all residential mortgage originations, and 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 shows that the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (from FHA and conforming GSE data) rose again, climbing three basis points to 4.01% since last week. The purchase application volume decreased 3% and the refinance application volume decreased 3% over the same period. Rates have risen steadily for the past few weeks, seemingly correlated with the Fed's recent suggestion that it may start to wind down GSE purchases later this year. Only time will tell if this is a trend or simply an aberration.
The following charts show 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.