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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

MBA: Mortgage Purchase Application Index increases

by Calculated Risk on 9/28/2011 07:22:00 AM

Note: The graph below includes the enhanced sample discussed last week. "The survey captures more than 75% of all U.S. retail and consumer direct mortgage applications, compared to 50% previously." For a discussion of the changes, see: Presentation to Discuss Enhancements to MBA’s Weekly Applications Survey.

There is also additional data. The weekly survey now includes mortgage rates for both conforming and jumbo loans. There is also a new Monthly Profile report (see sample here: Monthly Profile of State and National Mortgage Activity). This report breaks down the monthly application data by product type, size of loans, and state data. This appears very useful for short-term prepay modeling given the differences across states. This report is only available to subscribers.

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

The Refinance Index increased 11.2 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 2.6 percent from one week earlier.
"Mortgage rates declined last week, at least partially in response to the Fed's announcement that they would shift their portfolio towards longer-term Treasury securities, and that they would resume buying mortgage-backed securities," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA's Vice President of Research and Economics. "With lower rates, refinance application volume increased to its highest level since August 19, 2011. Purchase application volume also increased. However, the increase was in conventional purchase applications, which were up by 4.9 percent. Purchase applications for government loans fell by 0.6 percent over the week, likely influenced by the pending decline in FHA loan limits."
The average loan size of all loans for home purchase in the US was $212,700 in August 2011, up from $211,200 in July 2011. The average loan size for a refinance was $241,300, up from $209,200 in July.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) decreased to 4.25 percent from 4.29 percent, with points decreasing to 0.35 from 0.41 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500) decreased to 4.51 percent from 4.55 percent, with points decreasing to 0.38 from 0.46 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.
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.

August was an especially weak month for this index. This increase was pretty small, and although this doesn't include the large number of cash buyers, this suggests fairly weak home sales in September and October.