Mortgage Applications Steady as Average Rates Reach Historic Lows

by devteam September 19th, 2012 | Share

Applications for mortgages during thernweek ended September 14 were virtually unchanged from the previous weekrnaccording to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly MortgagernApplications Survey.  The Market CompositernIndex, a measure of loan application volume, increased 0.2 percent on arnseasonally adjusted basis during the week which was shortened by the Labor Dayrnholiday.  On an unadjusted basis it rosern24 percent.</p

The Refinance Index increased 1 percentrnfrom the previous week and represented 81 percent of all applications comparedrnto 80 percent the week before. rnTwenty-two percent of applications for refinancing were for HomernAffordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0) loans. rnThe seasonally adjusted Purchase Index was down 4 percent from a weekrnearlier and the unadjusted Purchase Index increased 18 percent week-over-weekrnand was 8 percent higher than during the same week in 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’);


The contract interest rate forrnconforming 30-year fixed rate mortgages (FRM) was at the lowest level in thernhistory of MBA’s survey.  For loans withrnbalances of $417,500 or less the rate was 3.72 percent with 0.45 point comparedrnto 3.75 percent with 0.44 point the week before.  The effective rate decreased from thernprevious week. The average contract interest rate for the 30-year FRM withrnjumbo balances increased by one basis point to 4.00 percent, points increasedrnfrom 0.30 to 0.35 and the effective rate increased.</p

FHA-backed 30-year FRM rates remainedrnunchanged at 3.50 percent, the lowest rate in survey history, but pointsrnincreased from 0.43 to 0.57 increasing the effective rate compared to thernprevious week.  </p

The average contract rate for 15-yearrnFRM was also at a new low, 3.03 percent with 0.39 point, and the effective raterndecreased.  The previous week the raternwas 3.07 percent with 0.38 point.</p

Five percent of total applicationsrnduring the week were for adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) an increase from the weekrnbefore.  The average rate for 5/1 ARMsrndecreased to 2.61 percent, a survey low, from 2.63 percent and points decreasedrnto 0.32 from 0.47.  The effective raternalso decreased.</p

Interest rates quoted from the surveyrnare for loans with loan-to-value ratios of 80 percent and points include thernapplication fee.  The survey covers 75rnpercent of all U.S. retail mortgage applications and has been conducted sincern1990.  Respondents include mortgage bankers,rncommercial banks, and thrifts.   The basernperiod and value for the resulting indices is March 16, 1990=100.

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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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