Press Release - Weekly Application Survey


Title: Near Record Low Mortgage Rates Boost Mortgage Applications in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Source:   MBA
Date: 12/24/2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 24, 2008) — The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 19, 2008.  The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, was 1245.4, an increase of 48.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from 841.4 one week earlier.  On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 50.2 percent compared with the previous week and was up 124.6 percent compared with the same week one year earlier.

The Refinance Index increased 62.6 percent to 6758.6 from the previous week and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 10.6 percent to 316.5 from one week earlier.  The Conventional Purchase Index increased 17.7 percent while the Government Purchase Index (largely FHA) decreased 3.4 percent.
 
The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is up 28.8 percent.  The four week moving average is up 4.5 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, while this average is up 42.0 percent for the Refinance Index.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 83.2 percent of total applications from 76.9 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 0.8 percent from 1.1 percent of total applications from the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 5.04 percent from 5.18 percent, with points increasing to 1.17 from 1.13 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The contract rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages is the lowest recorded in the survey since the record low of 4.99 percent for the week ending June 13, 2003.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.91 percent from 4.93 percent, with points decreasing to 1.03 from 1.34 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs decreased to 6.36 percent from 6.63 percent, with points decreasing to 0.28 from 0.30 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

**SPECIAL NOTES**

The survey covers approximately 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.

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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.mba.org.