Wednesday, August 29, 2012

MBA: Mortgage Refinance Activity declines

by Bill McBride on 8/29/2012 07:03:00 AM

From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

The Refinance Index decreased 6 percent from the previous week to its lowest level since May 11, 2012. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased more than 1 percent from one week earlier.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) decreased to 3.80 percent from 3.86 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.42 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
Purchase Index Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index.

The purchase index has been mostly moving sideways over the last two years.

I'm still puzzling over why the MBA index is moving sideways but the recent Senior Loan Officer survey showed "moderately to stronger" demand for mortgages to purchase homes:

Senior Loan Officer Survey
Over half the banks surveyed reported moderately to substantially strong demand for mortgage to purchase homes. It isn't clear why the MBA index and the Fed survey results are different.

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