New 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 2.8% in the group's composite index compared with last week's total. Applications for refinancing rose 3% (seasonally adjusted), while seasonally adjusted purchase applications increased by 1% from the previous week. Unadjusted, the purchase index rose fell 0.3% compared with the previous week and rose 5% compared with the same week a year ago.

Refinancings now account for 81.2% of total applications, up from 81% a week ago. About 96% of the applications were seeking fixed-rate loans.

The average contract interest rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell slightly from 3.72% to 3.63%. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage also fell, from 3.99% to 3.87%. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 3.03% to 2.98%, the lowest rate in the history of the survey..

The contract interest rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage remained unchanged at 2.61%.

The increase in mortgage applications from the previous week is pretty much consistent with the range in which the number has been fluctuating for the past several months. Interest rates fell sharply, which may indicate that the FOMC's decision to purchase mortgage-backed securities is working already to lower rates and encourage more lending. Still early days though.

Paul Ausick

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