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Mortgage applications rise 1.4% even as government mortgages drop

Refinancings increase to 55% share of mortgage application activity

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Mortgage applications increased 1.4% from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending August 15, 2014.  

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 1.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.  On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 1% compared with the previous week. 

The Refinance Index increased 3% from the previous week.  The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 0.4% from one week earlier.  The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 2% compared with the previous week and was 11% lower than the same week one year ago.

“Interest rates dropped last week as a result of the ongoing turmoil in Ukraine and other international concerns, which in turn pushed mortgage rates lower,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Chief Economist.  “Overall application volume for conventional mortgages increased.  However, there was a 5.9% decline in the number of applications for government mortgages, with both purchase and refinance applications declining.  Within the government sector, this decline was led by an 8% decline in unadjusted Department of Veterans Affairs applications, while Federal Housing Administration and Rural Housing Service unadjusted applications also fell by 5% and 3% respectively.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 55% of total applications from 54% the previous week.  The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to 7.8% of total applications.

 

“Purchase applications never quite reached the aspirations of many housing bulls this summer,” said Quicken Loans vice president Bill Banfield. “These numbers continue to disappoint, given that rates have improved recently and continue to hold a firm grip near historic lows.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 4.29% from 4.35%, with points increasing to 0.26 from 0.22 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value ratio loans.  The effective rate decreased from last week. 


The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) decreased to 4.18% from 4.24%, with points increasing to 0.23 from 0.19 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.  The effective rate decreased from last week. 

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.99% from 4.04%, while points remained unchanged at 0.03 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.  The effective rate decreased from last week. 

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.44% from 3.48%, while points remained unchanged at 0.30 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.  The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.10% from 3.24%, with points decreasing to 0.44 from 0.45 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.  The effective rate decreased from last week. 

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