Mortgage Applications Fall Again, Government Refi’s Off 24% From Peak

March 28, 2012 (Chris Moore)

Mortgage application volume fell again last week as an increase in purchase applications couldn’t overcome the decline in refinance applications which have now fallen for six consecutive weeks according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 23, 2012.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume which includes purchase applications and refinance applications, decreased a seasonally adjusted 2.7 percent from the previous week.

On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 2.6 percent from the previous week. The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is down 3.40 percent.

Purchase Applications:

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 3.3 percent from the previous week. The four week moving average is up 2.14 percent for the adjusted Purchase Index.

The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 3.0 percent compared with the previous week and was 1.0 percent higher than the same week a year ago.

Refinance Applications:

The Refinance Index decreased 4.6 percent from the previous week. The four week moving average for the Index is down 4.94 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 71.9 percent of total applications from 73.4 percent the previous week and is at its lowest level since July 2011.

This was the sixth consecutive week in which refinance activity has declined and has fallen 24.2 percent below its 2012 peak in February. The decline in refinance activity has been largely driven by a 12.0 percent drop in government 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)

4.23

4.19

0.45

0.47

Increased

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

4.54

4.49

0.46

0.38

Increased

15-Year FRM

3.50

3.47

0.42

0.40

Increased

FHA 30-Year

3.96

3.93

0.52

0.48

Increased

5/1 ARM

3.00

2.90

0.42

0.44

Increased

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 5.4 percent of total applications from 5.6 percent the previous week.

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

Sources:
Mortgage Bankers Association