MBA: Purchase Applications Flat, Refinance Applications Decline

February 2, 2011 (Chris Moore)
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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 28, 2011. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 11.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from last week.

On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 13.2 percent compared with the previous week. The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is up 1.0 percent.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 9.5 percent from one week. The four week moving average is down 1.5 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 16.7 percent compared with the previous week and was 21.4 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

The Refinance Index increased 11.7 percent from the previous week. The four week moving average is up 1.7 percent.

Results this week were expected to be higher as last weeks report did not include a holiday adjustment for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

“Applications increased this week relative to the holiday week,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “Looking over the past two weeks, purchase applications are flat, and refinance applications are down about five percent.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 69.3 percent of total applications from 70.3 percent the previous week. This is the lowest refinance share since the week ending May 14, 2010.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 5.5 percent from 5.2 percent of total applications from the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.81 percent from 4.80 percent, with points decreasing to 1.02 from 1.19 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate increased to 4.13 percent from 4.12 percent last week, with points decreasing to 1.01 from 1.26 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

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