Wednesday, June 13, 2012

MBA: Mortgage Applications Reach Highest Level Since 2009

by Bill McBride on 6/13/2012 07:00:00 AM

From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Reach Highest Level Since 2009 in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

The Refinance Index increased over 19 percent from the previous week to the highest index level since April 2009. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased around 13 percent from one week earlier.

“Mortgage application volume increased sharply last week. The increase was accentuated due to the comparison to the week including Memorial Day, but the level of refinance and total market activity is the highest since the spring of 2009,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA's Vice President of Research and Economics. “Refinance volume increased as borrowers were able to lock in at mortgage rates below 4 percent, and purchase application volume was its highest level in over six months. HARP volume has been steady in recent weeks at about 28 percent of refinance applications.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) increased to 3.88 percent from 3.87 percent, with points decreasing to 0.43 from 0.46 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
Mortgage rates and refinance activity Click on graph for larger image.

The purchase index is still very weak, but appears to be moving up recently.

Refinance activity continues to increase as mortgage rates are near the record low set the previous week.

Mortgage rates and refinance activityIt usually takes around a 50 bps decline from the previous mortgage rate low to get a huge refinance boom - and rates have fallen about that far - and refinance activity is now at the highest level since 2009.

According to the MBA, HARP volume was still at 28% of all refinance activity, so HARP activity is increasing at the same rate as overall refinance activity.

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