In Depth Analysis: CalculatedRisk Newsletter on Real Estate (Ad Free) Read it here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

MBA: Mortgage Purchase Activity decreases, Refinance Activity increases sharply

by Calculated Risk on 10/13/2010 07:56:00 AM

The MBA reports: Mortgage Refinance Applications Jump as Rates Continue to Fall in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

The Refinance Index increased 21.0 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 8.5 percent from one week earlier.
“Refinance application volumes are now close to the highest level this year. Purchase activity remains generally weak" ... said [Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics].

“Last week saw a big jump in applications for FHA loans to purchase homes. We surmised that this was due to potential buyers wanting to beat the stricter FHA standards that went into effect October 4th. This conjecture was confirmed by the fact that this week FHA applications fell back to a level closer to the average seen over the past four months, ”continued Fratantoni.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.21 percent from 4.25 percent, with points increasing to 1.02 from 1.00 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The 30-year contract rate is the lowest recorded in the survey, while the previous low was observed last week.
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 1990.

The decrease in purchase activity this week appears to be related to the slight change in FHA standards.

Note that the 30 year contract rate is at another record low of 4.21%.