Loan Demand Fails to Find Momentum. Applications Index Dips

by devteam June 22nd, 2011 | Share

The Mortgage Bankers Associationrn(MBA) today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey* for the weekrnending June 17, 2011.</p

Although mortgage rates have rallied back to levels just above their all-time lows, home loan demand has largely failed to react to it.  The MBA did report a nice uptick in refinance applications in the week ending June 7th, and while this was exciting, even that jump failed to spark further momentum as the Refinance Index declined 7.2 percent in the most recent report.  Mortgage rates did however move higher last week, so besides all the barriers that contiue to block borrowers from reducing their monthly payments,  there is an explanation for the most recent slowdown.</p

Excerptsrnfrom the Release…</p

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume,rndecreased 5.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one weekrnearlier.  On an unadjusted basis, thernIndex decreased 6.2 percent compared with the previous week.  The four week movingrnaverage is up 0.4 percent.</p

The Refinance Index decreased 7.2 percent from the previous week. The four week moving average isrnup 0.8 percent. Thernrefinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 69.2 percent of totalrnapplications from 70.0 percent the previous week.</p


The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 2.8 percent from one weekrnearlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 3.9 percent compared with thernprevious week and was 4.4 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The four week movingrnaverage is down 0.7 percent.</p


The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-raternmortgages increased to 4.57 percent from 4.51 percent, with points decreasingrnto 0.91 from 1.04 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-valuern(LTV) ratio loans.  The effective raternalso increased from last week.  </p

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgagesrnincreased to 3.70 percent from 3.67 percent, with points decreasing to 1.05rnfrom 1.06 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. Therneffective rate also increased from last week. </p

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 5.9rnpercent from 6.1 percent of total applications from the previous week.</p


Regarding the barriers that continue to block borrowers from reducing their monthly payments… </p

Over a month ago we wrote, “Right now we’re witnessing the beginnings of a mini-refinance boom in the primary mortgage market, but there has been little activity in the secondary market that would indicate increased rate locking by consumers.” says MND’s Managing Editor Adam Quinones. “However, if conventional 30-year rates reach 4.25%, we’d expect to see a mini-boom scenario play out. There is much stored demand in the system as many borrowers missed the boat on record low rates in October and early November. This crowd is waiting in the wings for those rates to return. Whether or not that happens is still very much up in the air” </p

In reaction to that comment, Ted Rood,rn a loan originator from MetLife Home Loans added, “One thing to considerrn regarding refi volume is that HUD effectively ended FHA streamlines over the course of the last year by tightening underwriting guidelines and jacking up monthly MIP fees. After the change, many existing FHA clients have been unable to meet net benefit rules,  even when dropping their rate by 1% or more, since their monthly MIP would double on the new loan. So FHA clients don’t get to benefit from lower rates and HUD doesn’t get new upfront MIPs from existing clients with clean payment histories who want to refinance”.</p

READ MORE: New FHA MIP Structure to Slow Streamlines</p

READ MORE: Rents Seen Rising as Poor Credit Hurts Homeownership Demand</p

READ MORE: Realtors Request Looser Credit Regs as Home Sales Decline</p

* ABOUT: The MBA’srnloan application survey covers over 50% of all U.S. residential mortgage loanrnapplications taken by mortgage bankers, commercial banks, and thrifts. The datarngives economists a snapshot view of consumer demand for mortgage loans. In arnfalling mortgage rate environment, a trend of increasing refinance applicationsrnimplies consumers are seeking out lower monthly payments. If consumers are ablernto reduce their monthly mortgage payment and increase disposable income throughrnrefinancing, it can be a positive for the economy as a whole (may boostrnconsumer spending. It also allows debtors to pay down personal liabilitiesrnfaster. A trend of declining purchase applications implies home buyer demand isrnshrinking.

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.

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