Hurricane Sandy Stifles Mortgage Applications


The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications this morning, noting a drop of 5% in the group's seasonally adjusted composite index compared with last week's decrease of 12%. Unadjusted, the composite index fell by 2%.

Applications for refinancing fell 5% (seasonally adjusted), while seasonally adjusted purchase applications increased by 5% from the previous week. Unadjusted, the purchase index fell 7% compared with the previous week and rose 6% compared with the same week a year ago.

The refinancing rate remained at 80% of total applications, flat with the previous week. About 96% of the applications were seeking fixed-rate loans, consistent with last week's reading.

The MBA's vice-president for research put some numbers to an obvious point:

Last week's storm had a significant impact on application volumes on the East Coast. Applications fell more than 60 percent compared to the prior week in New Jersey, almost 50 percent in New York and nearly 40 percent in Connecticut. Other East Coast states also saw declines over the week, while many states in other parts of the country had increases in application volumes.

The average contract interest rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose from 3.65% to 3.61%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage also rose, from 3.94% to 3.88%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage remained unchanged at 2.95%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage fell from 2.66% to 2.61%.

Paul Ausick

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