Refinance activity hits 3-year high, mortgage applications edge up
By Kerri Ann Panchuk
• July 25, 2012 • 6:25am
The number of mortgage applications filed in the U.S. edged up a slight 0.9% for the week ending July 20 as refinance activity hit a three-year high, an industry trade group said.
The Mortgage Bankers Association noted its refinance index grew 2% from the previous week, its highest level since April 2009. Meanwhile, home purchases slowed with the seasonally adjusted purchase index falling 3% from the previous week.
Refinance activity made up 81% of all mortgage applications, a slight increase from 80% a week earlier.
In addition, the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with a conforming loan balance held steady at 3.74%, its lowest rate in history. The 30-year, FRM for jumbo loans grew to 3.99% from 3.98%, while the 30-year, FRM backed by the FHA fell to 3.52% from 3.55%.
The 15-year, FRM fell to 3.07% from 3.12%, and the average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs declined to 2.68% from 2.71%.
Private equity firms continue to show interest in residential real estate, with Hibernian Pacific Holdings recently buying a portfolio of 45 single-family attached and detached homes in DeKalb County, Ga.
The Texas House of Representatives approved legislation on reverse mortgages this past week. The potential law would amend the Texas Constitution to authorize the "Reverse Mortgage for Purchase" program in Texas while enhancing consumer disclosure requirements for all reverse mortgage loans in Texas.
Nonprofits — the Cuyahoga Land Bank, NeighborWorks America, Rebuilding Together, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, PCV|VRM Seeds of Hope and many more local organizations — are investing significant resources to improve America’s most vulnerable housing markets.