Mortgage Applications Up After the Holidays

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications this morning, noting a rise of 11.7% in the group's seasonally adjusted composite index. That compares with a decline of 21.6% for the previous week.

Applications for refinancing increased by 12% (seasonally adjusted). The seasonally adjusted purchase applications index rose by 10% from the previous report. On an unadjusted basis, the composite index rose 49% week-over-week.

Although the MBA does not offer any commentary in this week's report, the steep drop in applications probably has more to do with the holiday season than anything else. The group did not report unadjusted numbers this week, which could mean that those would make the report look even worse.

The refinancing rate remained unchanged, accounting for 82% of all applications.

The average contract interest rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 3.52% to 3.61%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 3.75% to 3.78%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 2.86% to 2.88%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage decreased from 2.65% to 2.64%.

Compared with the week before the Christmas and New Year holidays, the refinance index is up less than 1% and the purchase index is down 2%.

The home-financing and home-buying market is in a typical seasonal lull. Housing inventories are down nearly 24% in 54 metropolitan areas, as home sellers had taken houses off the market for the holiday season. Inventory - and sales - should begin to pick up next month.

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