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

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

MBA: Mortgage Purchase Application activity increases

by Calculated Risk on 6/15/2011 07:18:00 AM

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

The Refinance Index increased 16.5 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 4.5 percent from one week earlier.
"Mortgage rates have declined for 8 of the past 9 weeks. Coming off of the Memorial Day holiday, refinance application volume increased significantly, as borrowers jumped to lock in the lowest mortgage rates since last November," said Michael Fratantoni, MBA's Vice President of Research and Economics. "The volume of refinance applications still remains 28 percent below levels seen at that time, as borrowers with an incentive to refinance remain constrained from doing so by lack of equity in their homes."
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.51 percent from 4.54 percent, with points increasing to 1.05 from 0.94 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. This is the lowest 30-year average rate since November 19, 2010.
The following graph shows the MBA Purchase Index and four week moving average since 1990.

MBA Purchase Index Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

The four week average of purchase activity is still at about 1997 levels. Of course there is a very high percentage of cash buyers right now, but this suggests weak existing home sales through mid-year (not counting cash buyers). Note that mortgage rates have fallen to the lowest level since last November and refinance activity has increased.