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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

MBA: Mortgage Purchase application activity increases, Mortgage Rates lowest in 2011

by Calculated Risk on 5/11/2011 07:18:00 AM

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

The Refinance Index increased 9.0 percent from the previous week, and is at its highest level since the week ending March 18, 2011. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 6.7 percent from one week earlier.
"The 30-year fixed mortgage rate is now 46 basis points below its 2011 peak, and has decreased for four straight weeks by a total of 31 basis points,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research. “Over this four week span, the refinance index has increased by about 18 percent. Despite the recent increases however, refinance application volumes remain more than 50 percent below levels seen last fall.”
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.67 percent from 4.76 percent, with points increasing to 1.10 from 0.75 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The 30-year rate is at its lowest since December 2010.
MBA Purchase Index Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

This graph shows the MBA Purchase Index and four week moving average since 1990.

Refinance activity increased as mortgage rates fell to the lowest level since December 2010.

The four week average of purchase activity is at about 1997 levels, although this doesn't include the very high percentage of cash buyers. This suggests weak existing home sales through June (not counting cash buyers).