Government Loan Activity Pushes Up Mortgage Applications

April 20, 2011 (Chris Moore)
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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April15, 2011. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 5.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from last week. The MBA attributes the jump in mortgage applications to an increase in applications in government-backed loans as borrowers sought to take advantage of lower FHA loan fees before the April 18th increase.

On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 5.9 percent compared with the previous week. The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is down 2.9 percent.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 10.0 percent from one week earlier, driven largely by an increase in government-backed purchase applications. The four week moving average is up 2.5 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 10.9 percent compared with the previous week and was 11.4 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“Purchase application volume jumped last week largely due to another sharp increase in applications for government loans. Borrowers were likely motivated to apply for loans before the scheduled increase in FHA insurance premiums,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “Refinance activity increased somewhat, as rates dropped to their lowest level in a month towards the end of the week.”

The Refinance Index increased 2.7 percent from the previous week. The four week moving average is down 5.7 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 58.5 percent of total applications from 60.3 last week. This is the lowest refinance share seen since the beginning of May, 2010.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 6.5 percent from 5.9 percent of total applications from the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.83 percent from 4.98 percent last week, with points increasing to 1.07 from 0.93 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.07 from 4.17 percent last week, with points increasing to 1.02 from 1.22 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

Tags: MBA, home purchase applications, mortgage rates, fixed rate mortgage, adjustable rate mortgage, refinance, interest rate

Sources:
MBA
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