Application Volumes Decline Despite Falling Rates

by devteam April 11th, 2012 | Share

There were declines in the Market Composite Index and most of its components during the week ended April 6. The Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey conducted by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) calculated the volume of mortgage applications for that week at 2.4 percent lower than the week ended March 30 on a seasonally adjusted basis and 2.1 percent lower on an unadjusted basis. Survey results were not adjusted to account for Good Friday. </p

The Refinance Index decreased 3.1 percent from the previous week and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index was down 0.5 percent. The unadjusted Purchase Index was the only component to increase; up a slight 0.1 percent compared to the previous week and 5.5 percent higher than during the same period in 2011.</p

The four-week moving averages for the Market Index and the Refinancing Index fell 2.08 percent and 3.45 percent respectively while the moving average for the seasonally adjusted purchase index was up 2.19 percent. </p

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased for the eighth consecutive week to 70.5 percent of total applications from 71.2 percent the previous week. This is the lowest refinance share since July 29, 2011. </p

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed</b</p

ChartManager.loadChart(‘purchaseappschart’, ‘PurchaseMtgAppChart’);


Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed</p

ChartManager.loadChart(‘refiappschart’, ‘RefiMtgAppChart’);


Rates for each mortgage product tracked by the MBA fell back to early March levels. Effective rates also decreased for all products.  The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with balances under $417,500 (conforming mortgages) decreased to 4.10 percent from 4.16 percent while points remained unchanged at 0.43.  The average rate for 30-year mortgages with loan balances over $417,500 (jumbo mortgages) was 4.43 percent with 0.36 point compared to 4.46 percent with 0.49 point the previous week.  </p

FHA-backed 30-year FRM carried a rate of 3.87 percent with 0.55 points, down from 3.89 percent with 0.58 point and 15-year FRM rates were down 3 basis points to 3.37 percent with points declining to 0.55 from 0.58.   </p

The rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) decreased to 2.89 percent from 2.93 percent, with points increasing to 0.38 from 0.35.  The ARM share of activity remained unchanged at 5.5 percent of total applications from the previous week.</p

All rate quotes are for loans with a loan-to-value ratio of 80 percent and points include the application fee.</p

MBA reports that the share of applications for investment properties increased to 8.3 percent from 7.4 percent in February 2012 driven by an increase in refinance applications from 7.7 percent in February to 9.2 percent in March.  Purchase applications for investment homes fell from 6.1 percent to 5.7 percent one basis point lower than the share one year earlier.  MBS did not report on second home mortgages separately but said the combined market share for investment and second home mortgages increased for refinancing and declined for purchase activity.   </p

The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail 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.

All Content Copyright © 2003 – 2009 Brown House Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.nReproduction in any form without permission of is prohibited.

About the Author


Steven A Feinberg (@CPAsteve) of Appletree Business Services LLC, is a PASBA member accountant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

See all blogs


Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Latest Articles

Real Estate Investors Skip Paying Loans While Raising Billions

By John Gittelsohn August 24, 2020, 4:00 AM PDT Some of the largest real estate investors are walking away from Read More...

Late-Stage Delinquencies are Surging

Aug 21 2020, 11:59AM Like the report from Black Knight earlier today, the second quarter National Delinquency Survey from the Read More...

Published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

It was recently published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, which is about as official as you can Read More...