WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 15, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 10, 2010. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 2.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 2.7 percent compared with the previous week.
The Refinance Index decreased 0.7 percent from the previous week. This is the fifth straight weekly decline for the Refinance Index. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 5.0 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 8.6 percent compared with the previous week and was 16.6 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
â€œTreasury rates increased last week following news that lower tax rates could be extended for another two years, boosting growth prospects. With this move, mortgage rates reached their highest level in more than six months,â€ said Michael Fratantoni, MBAâ€™s Vice President of Research and Economics. â€œNot surprisingly, with rates up more than half a percentage point over the past month, refinance activity has declined sharply. Home purchase applications dropped this week following three weeks of increases, but remain near levels last seen in early May.â€
The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is down 4.7 percent. The four week moving average is up 2.6 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, while this average is down 6.8 percent for the Refinance Index.
The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 76.7 percent of total applications from 75.2 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 5.5 percent from 5.6 percent of total applications from the previous week.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.84 percent from 4.66 percent, with points increasing to 1.34 from 0.94 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. This is the highest 30-year fixed-rate observed in the survey since the beginning of May 2010. The effective rate also increased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.21 percent from 3.98 percent, with points increasing to 1.28 from 0.97 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. This is the highest 15-year fixed-rate observed in the survey since the beginning of June 2010. The effective rate also increased from last week.
Please note that as a result of MBA offices being closed Monday, December 27 through Friday, December 31, the Weekly Applications Survey results will not be released on December 29 for the week ending December 24, 2010. Release of the survey will resume on Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at 7 AM with results for the two weeks prior.
If you would like to purchase a subscription of MBAâ€™s Weekly Applications Survey, please contact MBA Research at (202) 557-2830 or or click here.
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.