Mortgage Purchase Applications Jump to Highest Level Since Tax Credits

November 24 2010 (Chris Moore)
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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending November 19, 2010. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 2.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from last week and is now at its highest level since the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit.

On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 1.1 percent compared with the previous week. The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is down 3.2 percent.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 14.4 percent from one week earlier, which included Veterans Day. No adjustment was made for the holiday. The four week moving average is up 4.0 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 9.6 percent compared with the previous week, but was still 7.4 percent lower than the same week one year ago. This was the highest Purchase Index since the week ending May 7, 2010.

Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics stated, “The increase in purchase applications last week aligns with other incoming data suggesting that consumers are feeling somewhat more confident with their financial situation. While the increase was magnified somewhat by the comparison to the holiday week, the level of purchase applications on a seasonally adjusted basis is now at its highest level since the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit.

The Refinance Index decreased 1.0 percent from the previous week and is the lowest Refinance Index observed since the end of June. The four week moving average for the Refinance Index is down 4.8 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 78.6 percent of total applications from 80.3 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity remained at 5.3 percent of total applications.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.50 percent from 4.46 percent, with points decreasing to 0.88 from 1.13 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The effective rate decreased from last week and is the highest observed since the week ending September3 2010.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate decreased to 3.83 percent from 3.87 percent last week, with points decreasing to 1.04 from 0.91(including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate was unchanged from last week.

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