Mortgage Applications Rebound, Rates Slide Downward

February 23, 2011 (Chris Moore)
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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 18, 2011. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 13.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from last week.

On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 14.8 percent compared with the previous week. The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is up 1.9 percent.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 5.1 percent from one week earlier. The four week moving average is up 1.6 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 9.6 percent compared with the previous week and was 6.9 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

The Refinance Index increased 17.8 percent from the previous week, the lowest recorded in the survey since the beginning of July 2009. The four week moving average is up 1.8 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 65.7 percent of total applications from 64.0 percent the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 5.6 percent from 6.0 percent of total applications from the previous week.

“Ongoing turmoil in the Middle East brought interest rates lower last week. Borrowers took advantage of these lower rates, bringing application activity back near levels from two weeks ago, following sharp declines last week,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages declined to 5.00 percent from 5.12 percent last week, with points increasing to 0.97 from 0.85 (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 mortgages decreased to 4.28 percent from 4.34 percent last week, with points decreasing to 0.80 from 0.85 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

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