Wednesday, July 15, 2009

MBA: Refinance Applications Increase as Mortgage Rates Decline

by Calculated Risk on 7/15/2009 08:11:00 AM

The MBA reports:

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, was 514.4, an increase of 4.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from 493.1 one week earlier.
The Refinance Index increased 17.7 percent to 2009.4 from 1707.7 the previous week and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 9.4 percent to 258.8 from 285.6 one week earlier.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 5.05 percent from 5.34 percent ...
emphasis added
MBA Purchase Index Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the MBA Purchase Index and four week moving average since 2002.

Note: The increase in 2007 was due to the method used to construct the index: a combination of lender failures, and borrowers filing multiple applications pushed up the index in 2007, even though activity was actually declining.

The Purchase index is somewhat above the recent lows, but the big story is the Refinance index - refinance activity is up sharply as mortgage rates declined.