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

Purchase Activity Falls to 9-Month Low

Government share widens as overall mortgage business slows

Oct. 16, 2017

By Mortgage Daily staff

As new mortgage activity softened during the holiday week, weekly purchase-money business sank to the lowest level since January. Government share has significantly widened over the past year.

An indication of upcoming loan closings, the U.S. Mortgage Market Index from Mortgage Daily, was 128 in the seven days that included Columbus Day and concluded on Oct. 13.

A 16 percent decline was recorded versus the preceding week for the index, which is determined based on average per-user rate-lock volume at OpenClose. No seasonal adjustments were made.

But compared to the same seven days in 2016, prospective mortgage activity dipped just a percent.

Suffering the biggest week-over-week decline was the Purchase MMI, which slid 19 percent to 77 -- the lowest level since the week ended Jan. 27, 2017. Rate locks for loans to finance home purchases were off just 3 percent from the week ended Oct. 14, 2016.

A more than 17 percent decline was recorded from the week ended Oct. 6 for the Conventional MMI, which landed at 75. There was a more than 14 percent reduction from this week during 2016 for conventional activity -- the weakest year-over-year performance of any category tracked.

Rate locks for mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration or guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs fell 13 percent from the previous report. But government business has grown stronger over the past 12 months, ascending 27 percent. Government share was 41.4 percent in the most-recent report, widening from 40.2 percent the preceding seven-day period and fattening from 32.2 percent a year prior. The most-recent government share consisted of a 27.5 percent FHA share and a 13.9 percent VA share.

A nearly 13 percent decline was clocked versus the previous week for adjustable-rate mortgage rate locks. But ARM activity has skyrocketed 79 percent from the same week a year ago -- by far the best improvement from a year earlier. ARM share widened to 10.0 percent from 9.7 percent and was nearly twice as much as 5.5 percent twelve months earlier.

Refinance rate locks retreated 11 percent from the last report but inched up 3 percent from the report from the same week last year. At 40.1 percent, refinance share was more broad than 37.8 percent a week earlier and 38.7 percent a year earlier. The latest share was comprised of an 18.7 percent rate-term share and a 21.4 percent cashout share.

The smallest week-over-week loss was with jumbo rate locks: less than 9 percent. Jumbo business has retreated 14 percent from the same week last year. Jumbo share widened to 7.7 percent from 7.1 percent but was more narrow than 8.9 percent in the report for 52 weeks earlier. The jumbo-conforming spread remained at 12 basis points and was a basis point wider than in the year-prior period.

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Full Mortgage Market Index Report

Week Ended Oct. 13, 2017

Mortgage Market Index


Average Loan Amount

Rate-Term Refinance Share 18.74%
Cashout Refinance Share 21.37%
Total Refinance Share 40.11%

Purchase Share 59.89%

FHA Share 27.47%
VA Share 13.94%
Total Government Share 41.40%

Conventional Share 58.60%

ARM Share 10.04%

Jumbo Share 7.73%

Jumbo-Conforming Spread 0.12%

Government share widens as overall mortgage business slows

back to main Mortgage Market Index page

Refinance News | Refinance Share Statistics
News about refinancing programs, pricing and production. Stories about the H o m e
Affordable Refinance Program, H A R P 2.0 and other Making Home Affordable coverage.

Mortgage Rate News | Mortgage Market Index | ARM indices | ARM Statistics
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Quarterly residential mortgage production by lender. Subprime, Alt-A, home equity and conforming originations. Volume by quarter since 2003.

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FHA, VA and HECM mortgage news. HUD and G i n n i e news also. Originations, servicing and FHA approval.

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Origination, issuance and performance data and news for large-balance mortgages.

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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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