Mortgage application activity was mixed in two weekly surveys. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) survey of gross mortgage application volume increased 14.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending Jan. 8 compared to one week ago. The Mortgage Maxx survey, which is adjusted to reflect the number of households that applied for mortgages, declined 13.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis during the same period. MBA’s refinance index increased 21.8% and its purchase index was up 0.8%. MBA said refinance applications took a 71.5% share of all application activity, up from 68.2 in the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARMs) share of activity remained at 4% of total application volume. Mortgage Maxx said slight increases in interest rates compared to last month won’t make or break a home transaction, but employment concerns and the ability to obtain credit continue to affect the market’s recovery. “As the secondary effects now hit homeowners facing a second or third year of economic distress, the foundation for a housing remains severely cracked with green shoots so far only yielding weeds,” the firm said. Write to Austin Kilgore.

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