Mortgage Applications Rise Sharply

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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly report on mortgage applications this morning, noting an increase of 1.1% in the group's composite index compared with last week's total. Applications for refinancing rose 12% (seasonally adjusted), while seasonally adjusted purchase applications increased by 8% from the previous week. Unadjusted, the purchase index dropped more than 15% compared with the previous week and rose 7% compared with the same week a year ago.

Refinancings now account for 80% of total applications, up from 79% a week ago. About 95.5% of the applications were seeking fixed-rate loans.

The average contract interest rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell slightly from 3.78% to 3.75%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage also fell, from 4.05% to 4.00%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 3.10% to 3.07%.

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage also declined, from 2.64% to 2.63%.

The MBA noted a possible effect of last week's Labor Day holiday:

The holiday adjusted numbers may overstate the level of refinance applications because some lenders who rely primarily on the Internet/consumer direct channel for originations saw little if any decline in applications for Labor Day as compared with the drops for lenders relying on retail offices, perhaps because borrowers had additional time over the Labor Day weekend to complete online refinance applications.

Paul Ausick

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