Holiday, Shopping Pressure Mortgage Applications


The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications this morning, noting a decline of 0.9% in the group's seasonally adjusted composite index compared with last week's drop of 2.2%. The index is adjusted for the Thanksgiving holiday. Unadjusted, the composite index fell by 24%.

Applications for refinancing fell by 2% (seasonally adjusted), while seasonally adjusted purchase applications increased by 3% from the previous week. Unadjusted, the purchase index declined by 24% compared with the previous week and rose 8% compared with the same week a year ago.

The refinancing rate remained steady at 81% of total applications. About 96% of the applications were seeking fixed-rate loans, consistent with last week's reading.

The average contract interest rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 3.54% to 3.53%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage also fell, from 3.76% to 3.75%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage remained unchanged at 2.89%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage decreased from 2.62% to 2.60%.

The holiday week put a real cap on mortgage applications, as we can see from the unadjusted rate drops. Applications are likely to remain soft until after the holiday season. 'Tis the season to shop, not to buy houses.

Paul Ausick

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