Mortgage Applications Jump Up From Last Week

March 09, 2011 (Chris Moore)
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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 4, 2011. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 15.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from last week.

On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 16.1 percent compared with the previous week. The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is up 2.7 percent.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 12.5 percent from one week earlier. This is the highest Purchase Index recorded this year. The four week moving average is up 1.2 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 14.3 percent compared with the previous week and was still14.3 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

The Refinance Index increased 17.2 percent from the previous week. The four week moving average is up 3.6 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 65.5 percent of total applications from 64.9 percent the previous week.

Last weeks figures did not include an adjustment for the Presidents Day holiday.

“Taking into account typical seasonal patterns, purchase applications rose to their highest level of the year last week. On an unadjusted basis, purchase application activity is the highest since last May,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “An improving job market is beginning to pave the way for an improving housing market. Additionally, mortgage interest rates remained below 5 percent for a second week, maintaining affordability for buyers and leading to an increase in refinance applications.”

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 6.0 percent from 5.5 percent of total applications from the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.93 percent from 4.84 percent last week, with points decreasing to 0.87 from 1.30 (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 mortgages remained unchanged from 4.17 percent last week, with points increasing to 1.15 from 1.07 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

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