New Mortgage Applications Flat

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications this morning, noting a decrease of 0.2% in the group's composite index compared with last week's total. Applications for refinancing rose 1% (seasonally adjusted), while seasonally adjusted purchase applications decreased by 4% from the previous week. Unadjusted, the purchase index rose more than 18% compared with the previous week and rose 8% compared with the same week a year ago.

Refinancings now account for 81% of total applications, up from 80% a week ago. About 95% of the applications were seeking fixed-rate loans.

The average contract interest rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell slightly from 3.75% to 3.72%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage also fell, from 4.00% to 3.99%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 3.07% to 3.03%, the lowest rate in the history of the survey.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage also declined, from 2.63% to 2.61%.

The slight slowdown from the previous week probably does not indicate much except that applications for mortgages remain steady. The slightly lower interest rates do not indicate much change either, but given the FOMC's decision to begin purchasing agency mortgage-backed securities, interest rates could continue to decline slowly by as much as another 50 basis points.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Housing, Research Tagged: featured