New home-lending activity turned solidly higher this past week, and it was government mortgage programs that saw the biggest week-over-week gain.
An indication of upcoming single-family loan originations,
the U.S. Mortgage Market Index from Mortgage Daily, was 160 in the week ended Aug. 25.
Compared to the same seven days in 2016, mortgage activity has declined 5 percent.
A 17 percent increase from the week ended Aug. 18 for government business was the strongest improvement of any category. Government rate locks were up by a fifth from the same week last year. Government share of this week’s activity was 38.6 percent, wider than 36.2 percent a week earlier and 30.5 percent a year earlier. The most-recent share consisted of a 27.0 percent FHA share and an 11.6 percent VA share.
The Purchase MMI moved up a 10th from the last report to 103. Purchase business was even up from a year ago — by 2 percent.
Next up were rate locks for refinances, which climbed 8 percent but were down by 15 percent from the week ended Aug. 26, 2016. Refinance share thinned to 35.9 percent from 36.2 percent the prior week and 40.1 percent a year prior. This week’s share was was comprised of a 17.1 percent rate-term share and an 18.8 percent cashout share.
A 5 percent increase in the Conventional MMI left that index at 98. Conventional activity, though, has diminished by 16 percent from the year-earlier report.
Rate locks for jumbo mortgages inched up a percent from the previous week but have plunged 28 percent from the same week in 2016 — the worst year-over-year deterioration of any category. Jumbo share was trimmed to 6.7 percent from 7.3 percent the prior week and cut from 8.9 percent a year prior.
At 6 basis points, the jumbo-conforming spread was thinner than 7 BPS in the last report and in the report from the same week in 2016.
Rate locks for adjustable-rate mortgages slowed by 1 percent from last week. But the category has skyrocketed 80 percent versus the same week last year — more than any other category. ARM share was more narrow at 9.5 percent than 10.5 percent a week ago.
But ARM share stands much wider than 5.0 percent fifty-two weeks ago.