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

Mortgage Biz Surges as Gov Activity at 4-Mth High

Cashout share thinnest in year, rate-term share widest in 7 months

Oct. 5, 2018

By Mortgage Daily staff

New mortgage business surged this past week as a four-month high was reached for government activity. Cashout share was the most narrow it's been in a year, while rate-term share was it's widest in seven months.

Mortgage Daily's U.S. Mortgage Market Index for the week ended Oct. 5 was calculated to be 131. The MMI was first launched in the week ended Dec. 16, 2009, at 197.

A 19 percent jump from a week prior was recorded for the index, which was determined based on average per-user rate-lock volume by clients of OpenClose. No seasonal adjustments are made to the MMI.

Conventional rate locks leapt 24 percent from the week ended Sept. 28 but were off 14 percent from the same week in 2017.

Rate locks for loans to finance home purchases climbed a fifth but dropped 9 percent from the week ended Oct. 6, 2017.

Refinance business increased 19 percent. The gain was driven by rate-term refinance rate locks, which climbed to the highest level since the week ended March 2. The increase in rate-term activity is puzzling given that rate-term refinances normally slow as interest rates -- which are currently near seven-year highs -- move up.

OpenClose Senior Vice President Vincent E. Furey has a theory.

"I think we're seeing those stragglers on the fence finally realize they're not going to see high threes and low fours again so it's now or never," Furey said in a written statement.

But refinance activity has decreased 21 percent from year ago.

Refinance share thinned to 34.7 percent from 35.0 percent but wasn't as wide as 37.8 percent during the same seven days last year. The share consisted of a 21.6 percent cashout share -- the thinnest it's been since it was 21.4 percent in the week ended Oct. 13, 2017 -- and a 13.1 percent rate-term share -- the most broad it's been since it was 13.7 percent in the week ended March 2.

Government rate locks climbed 13 percent from a week earlier to the highest level since the week ended June 15. Government rate locks, though, were down 13 percent from a year earlier. Government share thinned to 40.6 percent from 42.9 percent but was slightly fatter than 40.2 percent 12 months ago. This week's share was comprised of a 26.3 percent FHA share and a 14.3 percent VA share.

Rate locks for adjustable-rate mortgages moved higher by 14 percent and have soared 57 percent on a year-over-year basis. ARM share thinned to 17.8 percent from 18.7 percent but has widened considerably from 9.7 percent this week in 2017.

The smallest week-over-week gain, 9 percent, was for jumbo rate locks. Still, the category inched up 3 percent from the same week last year. Jumbo share was trimmed to 8.5 percent from 9.4 percent but remained wider than 7.1 percent twelve months earlier. Jumbo interest rates were 20 basis points higher than conforming fixed rates reported Thursday by Freddie Mac. That spread was 16 BPS the prior week and 12 BPS a year prior.

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Full Mortgage Market Index Report

Week Ended Oct. 5, 2018

Mortgage Market Index


Average Loan Amount

Rate-Term Refinance Share 13.08%
Cashout Refinance Share 21.60%
Total Refinance Share 34.68%

Purchase Share 65.32%

FHA Share 26.32%
VA Share 14.31%
Total Government Share 40.63%

Conventional Share 59.37%

ARM Share 17.77%

Jumbo Share 8.53%

Jumbo-Conforming Spread 0.20%

Cashout share thinnest in year, rate-term share widest in 7 months

back to main Mortgage Market Index page

Refinance News | Refinance Share Statistics
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Affordable Refinance Program, H A R P 2.0 and other Making Home Affordable coverage.

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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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