Wednesday, November 07, 2012

MBA: Hurricane Sandy Leads to Decrease in Mortgage Applications

by Bill McBride on 11/07/2012 07:02:00 AM

From the MBA: Storm Leads to Decrease in Mortgage Applications

The Refinance Index ... decreased 5 percent from the previous week. The Refinance Index has declined for five straight weeks and is at its lowest level since the end of August. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 5 percent from one week earlier.

“Last week’s storm had a significant impact on application volumes on the East Coast,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “Applications fell more than 60 percent compared to the prior week in New Jersey, almost 50 percent in New York and nearly 40 percent in Connecticut. Other East Coast states also saw declines over the week, while many states in other parts of the country had increases in application volumes.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) decreased to 3.61 percent from 3.65 percent, with points increasing to 0.45 from 0.39 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
Some of this decline in activity was related to Hurricane Sandy.

Purchase IndexClick 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.

As Fratantoni noted, some states in the Northeast had a sharp decline in activity: "Applications fell more than 60 percent compared to the prior week in New Jersey, almost 50 percent in New York and nearly 40 percent in Connecticut." Most of those areas will bounce back fairly quickly.

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