If you have recently applied for a mortgage refinancing given plunging mortgage rates, you may have noticed a delay in the underwriting. Why? US lenders are in the midst of a “refi wave” and some lenders are swamped with work, particularly underwriters.
Mortgage applications decreased 6.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending August 23, 2019.
The Refinance Index decreased 8 percent from the previous week and was 167 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 6 percent compared with the previous week and was 2 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
The 30 year mortgage rate has been generally falling since November 2018 as European (Brexit) and Asian (China trade) pressures have increased. As a consequence, we have seen a “refi wave” in 2019.
Mortgage purchase applications have risen gradually since 2014, but litigation against lenders and rules created under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) resulted in mortgage purchase applications at 1998 levels.