Mortgage Application Volume Falls, HARP 30 Percent of REfi’s

March 14, 2012 (Chris Moore)

Mortgage loan application volume fell for the fifth consecutive week on a seasonally adjusted basis as a dwindling number of refinance loan applications continued to contribute to the overall decline according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 9, 2012.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume which includes purchase applications and refinance applications, decreased a seasonally adjusted 2.4 percent from the previous week.

On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 1.8 percent from the previous week. The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is down 2.12 percent.

Purchase Applications:

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 4.4 percent from the previous week. The four week moving average is up 2.92 percent for the adjusted Purchase Index.

The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 6.0 percent compared with the previous week and was 0.4 percent lower than the same week a year ago.

Purchase applications for the entire month of February were 18.0 percent higher than in January but were still 2.0 percent lower than the same month last year.

Refinance Applications:

The Refinance Index decreased 4.1 percent from the previous week. The four week moving average for the Index is down 3.29 percent. This is the fifth consecutive week that the Refinance Index has declined.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 75.1 percent of total applications from 77.0 percent the previous week.

For the past two weeks, refinance applications under the government’s HARP program have made up roughly 30 percent of all refinance activity.

Mortgage Interest Rates:

Average Contract Mortgages Rates
(80% loan-to-value)

Type of
Loan

Interest Rate (%)

Points

Effective Rate

Current

Previous

Current

Previous

30-Year FRM Conforming
($417,500 or less)

4.06

4.06

0.43

0.50

Decreased

30-Year FRM Non-Conforming
($417,501 or more)

4.39

4.33

0.39

0.40

Increased

15-Year FRM

3.36

3.36

0.34

0.38

Decreased

FHA 30-Year

3.82**

3.87

0.55

0.70

Decreased

5/1 ARM

2.81

2.78*

0.37

0.35

Increased

*Survey record low     **2012 Low

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 5.8 percent of total applications from 5.4 percent the previous week.

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

Sources:
Mortgage Bankers Association