Quiet Week for Mortgage Applications, Interest Rates

Applications for both home purchase and refinance
were essentially flat during the week ended February 10.  The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA)
Market Composite Index, derived from its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey
was down 1.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week and
virtually unchanged on an unadjusted basis.

The Refinance Index increased a slight 0.8 percent
from the week ended February 3 but this was enough to bring it to the highest
level since late summer.  The seasonally adjusted
Purchase Index was down 8.4 percent and down 3.3 percent on an unadjusted
basis.  The later number was 7.6 percent
lower than during the same week in 2011.

The four week moving averages for the seasonally
adjusted Market and Purchase Indices were down 0.45 percent and 3.87 percent
respectively and up 0.21 percent for the Refinance Index.  Applications for refinancing made up 81.1 of
the total application volume, up from 80.5 percent from the previous week and the
share of adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) decreased from 6.0 percent to 5.4
percent.

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Click Here to View the Purchase Applications Chart

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Click Here to View the Refinance Applications Chart

Interest rates during the week were mixed.  The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate
mortgage (FRM) with a conforming balance of $417,500 or less increased to 4.08
percent with 0.51 point from 4.05 percent with 0.44 point.  The effective rate also increased.

Thirty-year
jumbo FRM, those with a beginning balance larger than $417,500, had an average
rate of 4.30 percent with 0.44 point compared to 4.29 percent with 0.43 point a
week earlier.  The effective rate
increased as well. 

The
only loan type with a lower rate than that of the previous week was the
30-year
FRM backed by FHA.  FHA loan rates
decreased 2 basis points to 3.87 percent with points unchanged at 0.78 and the
effective rate decreased. 

The
rate for the 15-year FRM was unchanged
at 3.33 percent, with points increasing to 0.40 from 0.37
and the effective rate was also unchanged. 
   

Rates for
5/1 ARMs increased
to 2.93 percent from 2.91 percent, with points increasing
to 0.42 from 0.40.  The effective rate increased.

The
above rates are based on loans with an 80 percent loan to value ratio.  Points include the origination fee.

MBA reports that the average loan size in the U.S.
during the month of January was $226,000. 
The average loan size has been increasing in recent months and January’s
average loan was $1,000 higher than an average loan in December and was up from
$207,000 in January 2011.  The range of
average loans was $143,000 in Indiana to $375,000 in Washington, DC.  Loans for home purchases averaged $217,000 and
for refinancing the average was $228,000.

MBA’s
weekly survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail and consumer direct
residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since
1990.  Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and
thrifts.  Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.

…(read more)

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