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Mortgage Purchase Applications Increase in Latest MBA Survey

by Chicago Agent

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) 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 one week earlier.  On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 1.1 percent compared with the previous week.

The Refinance Index decreased 1.0 percent from the previous week and is the lowest Refinance Index observed since the end of June.  The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 14.4 percent from one week earlier, which included Veterans Day. No adjustment was made for the holiday. On a seasonally adjusted basis, this is the highest Purchase Index recorded since the week ending May 7, 2010. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 9.6 percent compared with the previous week and was 7.4 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

“The increase in purchase applications last week aligns with other incoming data suggesting that consumers are feeling somewhat more confident with their financial situation,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “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 four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is down 3.2 percent.  The four week moving average is up 4.0 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, while this average is down 4.8 percent for the Refinance Index.

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 constant 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 1.12 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.  This is the highest 30-year fixed rate observed in the survey since the week ending September 3, 2010.   The effective rate decreased from last week.

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

The survey covers over 50 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990.  Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts.  Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100. For more information, visit mortgagebankers.org.

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