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Mortgage Market Index
A barometer of upcoming originations, the Mortgage Market Index includes data on jumbo, FHA and refinance activity.

ARMs, Refis Lead Mortgage Decline Ahead of Easter

Mortgage Market Index 186 in week ended April 3

April 5, 2015

By AIMEE L. BROWN Mortgage Daily

New home borrowing activity was curtailed by seasonal events, and the adjustable-rate and refinance categories had the steepest declines. But business was stronger than a year earlier.

At 186 for the week ended April 3, the U.S. Mortgage Market Index from LoanSifter/Optimal Blue and Mortgage Daily was down 9 percent from the prior week's report.

Compared to this time last year, however, the index -- a depiction of average per-user product-and-pricing inquiries by LoanSifter customers -- was up to nearly 13 percent.

Adjustable-rate mortgage activity was the week's poorest performing category with an 11 percent week-over-week decline. ARM business also showed the worst productivity on a year-over-year basis, with a 28 percent decrease from the week that closed on April 4 of last year.

Unsurprisingly, ARM share dropped from 9.1 percent to 8.9 percent for the week and fell well behind the 14.0 percent reported this time last year.

While refinance inquiries fell 10 percent from the week ended March 27, they rose 59 percent compared to a year earlier -- the strongest category in year-over-year performance. Refinance share this past week stumbled to 60.4 percent from 61.5 percent but saw a big boost over the 43.0 percent listed last year. This most recent figure included a 16.1 cashout share and a 44.4 percent rate-term share.

Jumbo loan inquiries decreased 9.3 percent from the last report but were up by more than 14 percent from the year-earlier number. Market share for this category was down to 10.6 percent from 10.7 percent seven days previous but up from the 10.5 percent a year earlier.

Meanwhile, jumbo interest rates were seven basis points higher than on conforming mortgages. The jumbo-conforming spread climbed from 5 BPS in the last calculation and swelled over the same week last year's reported figure at less than 1 basis point.

Down 9.0 percent were inquiries on loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration. These same inquiries, however, were 32 percent ahead of the same 2014 time-frame. Current FHA share thinned to 18.8 percent from the previous week's 18.9 percent but beefed up from the year-previous' 16.1 percent.

Conventional activity was off 8.5 percent but up 10 percent from the same point in 2014.

Purchase financing activity came in 6 percent lower than the last report and dove 22 percent below the 12-month earlier period.

Conforming 30-year fixed rates averaged 4.086 percent for the most recent period. This average was less than a basis point higher than in the last report and 65 BPS higher than the same week last year.

Consumers who wanted 15-year home loan notes received rate quotes that were 87 BPS better than the longer 30-year mortgages. The spread widened from 84 BPS seven days prior but narrowed from 98 BPS the same time last year.

Fixed rates could see around six BPS improvement in next week's report, according to a Treasury market activity analysis by Mortgage Daily.

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Full Mortgage Market Index Report

Week Ended April 3, 2015

National Average Loan Amount


Rate-Term Refinance Share 44.37%
Cashout Refinance Share 16.06%
Total Refinance Share 60.43%

Purchase Share 39.57%

FHA Share 18.80%

ARM Share 8.94%

Jumbo Share 10.64%

Mortgage Market Index 185.717

Conforming 30-Year Fixed-Rate Average 4.086%
Conforming 15-Year Fixed-Rate Average 3.220%
Jumbo 30-Year Fixed-Rate Average 4.156%

Mortgage Market Index 186 for week ended April 3

back to main Mortgage Market Index page

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About the Mortgage Market Index
The U.S. Mortgage Market Index was first launched in December 2009 at 197.

The index, itself, reflects the average number of per-user rate locks by clients of OpenClose for the seven days ended each Thursday at midnight. OpenClose has been the data provider since June 2015.

The MMI is an excellent indicator of upcoming mortgage originations.

A byproduct of the Mortgage Market Index is a full report each week that includes the latest share by loan type, the jumbo-conforming spread and details about refinance and government activity -- as well as other important mortgage data.

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