WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 19, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — Mortgage applications decreased 12.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 14, 2012.
The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 12.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 13 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 14 percent from the previous week to the lowest level since week ending November 2, 2012. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 8 percent compared with the previous week and was 9 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
“Despite the Federal Reserve’s announcement last week that it would purchase an additional $45 billion in Treasury securities per month as part of its continuing quantitative easing effort, rates increased in the second half of the week,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “As a result, refinance applications dropped sharply to the lowest level in over a month.”
The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 83 percent of total applications from 84 percent the previous week. The HARP share of refinance applications fell to 25 percent. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 3 percent of total applications.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) increased to 3.50 percent from 3.47 percent, with points increasing to 0.44 from 0.36 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500) decreased to 3.73 percent, the lowest rate in the history of the survey, from 3.77 percent, with points decreasing to 0.29 from 0.35 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 3.34 percent from 3.32 percent, with points increasing to 0.54 from 0.51 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 2.83 percent, the lowest rate in the history of the survey, from 2.85 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.26 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 2.61 percent from 2.63 percent, with points increasing to 0.36 from 0.34 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
Please note that as a result of MBA offices being closed Monday, December 24, 2012 through Tuesday, January 1, 2012, the Weekly Applications Survey results will not be released on December 26 for the week ending December 21, 2012. Release of the survey will resume on Thursday, January 3, 2012 at 7:00 a.m. with results for the two weeks prior.
If you would like to purchase a subscription of MBA’s Weekly Applications Survey, please visit www.mortgagebankers.org/WeeklyApps, contact or click here.
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.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is the national association representing the real estate finance industry, an industry that employs more than 280,000 people in virtually every community in the country. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the association works to ensure the continued strength of the nation’s residential and commercial real estate markets; to expand homeownership and extend access to affordable housing to all Americans. MBA promotes fair and ethical lending practices and fosters professional excellence among real estate finance employees through a wide range of educational programs and a variety of publications. Its membership of over 2,200 companies includes all elements of real estate finance: mortgage companies, mortgage brokers, commercial banks, thrifts, Wall Street conduits, life insurance companies and others in the mortgage lending field. For additional information, visit MBA’s Web site: www.mortgagebankers.org.