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Mortgage

Mortgage applications jump a solid 4.6%

Conventional and government-backed purchase apps up

March rolled in like a lamb and strode out more like a lion – not exactly roaring, but certainly with more confidence and swagger.

After starting the month flat or down, mortgage applications ended March up, increasing 4.6% from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s  Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 27, 2015.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 4.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 5% compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 4% from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 6% from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 6% compared with the previous week and was 8% higher than the same week one year ago.

“There was a broad based increase in mortgage applications last week relative to the week prior. The increase in purchase volume was led by a nearly 6% increase in both conventional and government markets, perhaps signaling that households are finally ready to begin the home-buying season,” said Lynn Fisher, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 60% of total applications from 61% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 5.6% of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 12.8% this week from 13.3% last week. The VA share of total applications increased to 10.5% this week from 10.1% last week. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from last week at 0.8%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 3.89% from 3.90%, with points decreasing to 0.36 from 0.37 (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) increased to 3.90% from 3.89%, with points increasing to 0.34 from 0.25 (including the origination fee) for 80% 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 3.73% from 3.71%, with points decreasing to 0.13 from 0.21 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.21% from 3.22%, with points increasing to 0.29 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 decreased to 2.93% from 2.97%, with points increasing to 0.41 from 0.38 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week. 

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