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Mortgage

Mortgage applications continue to climb with 1.3% increase

Refinancing activity makes up for drop in purchases

Mortgage applications increased 1.3% from the previous week, continuing their upward trajectory for the fourth week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 30, 2015.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 1.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 15% compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 3% from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 2% from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 16% compared with the previous week and was 3% higher than the same week one year ago.

“Following several weeks of already elevated refinance activity due to falling interest rates, FHA refinance applications increased 76.5% in response to a reduction in annual mortgage insurance premiums which took effect January 26,” said Lynn Fisher, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “Conventional refinance volume was up only 0.5% for the week while VA refinance volume was down 24.3%. FHA purchase applications were also up 12.4% over the week prior, despite a decrease in purchase applications in the rest of the market.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 71% of total applications from 72% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity decreased to 5.3% of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 13.1% this week from 9.1% last week. The VA share of total applications decreased to 8.5% this week from 10.7% last week. The USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.6% from 0.7% last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 3.79%, the lowest level since May 2013, from 3.83%, with points increasing to 0.29 from 0.26 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value ratio (LTV) 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 3.82%, the lowest level since May 2013, from 3.87%, with points decreasing to 0.22 from 0.33 (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 3.69% from 3.71%, with points remaining unchanged at 0.07 (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 3.14% from 3.15%, with points increasing to 0.31 from 0.28 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.03% from 2.96%, with points decreasing to 0.39 from 0.42 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week. 

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