WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 30, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — Mortgage applications decreased 7.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 25, 2011.
The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, Mortgage applications decreased 7.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 7.2 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 10.1 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 1.7 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 1.5 percent compared with the previous week and was 21.9 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
“Treasury and mortgage rates increased towards the end of last week, as global markets calmed following the recent crises in Japan and the Middle East. Refinance volume predictably fell in response to these rate increases. As rates climb back to 5 percent, fewer homeowners have both the incentive and the ability to refinance,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “Purchase volume remained roughly flat as we enter what is typically the peak homebuying season.”
The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is up 2.0 percent. The four week moving average is up 2.1 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, while this average is up 2.0 percent for the Refinance Index.
The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 64.3 percent of total applications from 66.4 percent the previous week. This is the second lowest refinance share reported since May 2010. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 5.7 percent from 5.9 percent of total applications from the previous week.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.92 percent from 4.80 percent, with points decreasing to 0.83 from 0.96 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The effective rate also increased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.16 percent from 4.02 percent, with points increasing to 0.99 from 0.90 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate also increased from last week.
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The survey covers over 50 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.