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 and 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) increased a notable 12 basis points to 4.66% since last week. The purchase application volume increased 2% and the refinance application volume declined 5% over the same period. Rates continuing to rise after some settling and following weeks of explosive increases that saw a rise of over 100 basis points are seemingly directly correlated with the Fed's recent suggestion that it may start to "taper" the GSE and treasury purchases later this year.
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.