MBA: Mortgage Applications Continue to Tumble

February 16, 2011 (Chris Moore)
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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 11, 2011. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 9.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from last week.

On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 7.9 percent compared with the previous week. The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is down 4.5 percent.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 5.9 percent from one week earlier. The four week moving average is down 1.9 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 0.9 percent compared with the previous week and was 18.2 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

The Refinance Index decreased 11.4 percent from the previous week, the lowest recorded in the survey since the beginning of July 2009. The four week moving average is down 6.2 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 64.0 percent of total applications from 66.6 percent the previous week. This is the fourth straight week that this indicator has declined.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 6.0 percent from 5.9 percent of total applications from the previous week.

Mortgage rates remained above 5 percent last week, up almost a full percentage point from their October lows, and refinance volume continued to drop,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “Applications for home purchases also declined on a seasonally adjusted basis. Buyers have not returned to the market as rising rates have reduced affordability, to some extent.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages declined slightly to 5.12 percent from 5.13 percent, with points increasing to 0.85 from 0.84 (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 increased to 4.34 percent from 4.29 percent last week, with points decreasing to 0.85 from 1.02 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. This is the highest 15 year rate since April 2010. The effective rate increased from last week.

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