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Mortgage Applications Rebound in MBA Weekly Survey

Robinson, Matt
Mortgage applications increased for the fourth time in five weeks, while key interest rates reached a six-month high, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported this morning in its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 1. 

The Market Composite Index increased by 3.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased by 16 percent compared to the previous week. Last week’s results included an adjustment for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

The Refinance Index increased by 4 percent from the previous week. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 78 percent of total applications from 79 percent the previous week and reached its lowest share since July.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased by 2 percent from one week earlier, reaching its highest level since May 7, 2010. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased by 21 percent compared to the previous week and was 16 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) increased to 3.73 percent from 3.67 percent, with points increasing to 0.43 from 0.42 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The contract interest rate for 30-year fixed mortgages has increased for seven of the past eight weeks. 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) increased to 3.96 percent from 3.95 percent, with points decreasing to 0.38 from 0.39 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.  The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 3.53 percent from 3.48 percent, with points increasing to 0.38 from 0.33 (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 increased to 3.00 percent from 2.95 percent, with points decreasing to 0.33 from 0.38 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages increased to 2.72 percent from 2.60 percent, with points decreasing to 0.30 from 0.33 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The ARM share of activity remained constant at 4 percent of total applications.

The survey covers more than 75 percent of all U.S. retail and consumer direct residential mortgage applications and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts.