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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

MBA: Mortgage Purchase Applications increase slightly last week

by Calculated Risk on 12/08/2010 08:01:00 AM

The MBA reports: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

The Refinance Index decreased 1.4 percent from the previous week. This is the fourth weekly decrease for the Refinance Index which reached its lowest level since June 2010. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 1.8 percent from one week earlier. This is the third weekly increase for the Purchase Index which reached its highest level since early May 2010.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.66 percent from 4.56 percent, with points decreasing to 0.95 from 0.96 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.
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.

A few points:
• Mortgage rates were up even more yesterday.

• Refinance activity is falling quickly as mortgage rates rise.

• However purchase activity is picking up a little, possibly because some buyers are accelerating purchases because they are afraid of future rate increases.

Even with the increase in applications (seasonally adjusted), the four-week moving average of the purchase index is about 17% below the levels of April 2010 and suggests weak existing home sales through the end of the year and into January.