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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

MBA: Mortgage Purchase Application Index decreased over Holidays

by Calculated Risk on 1/04/2012 08:16:00 AM

From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease Over Two Week Holiday Period

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the weeks ending December 23, 2011 and December 30, 2011.
The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 9.7 percent compared with levels reported two weeks ago. ...

"Mortgage application activity declined over the last two weeks, even after adjusting for the typical seasonal decline in activity. Refinance applications continue to account for the vast majority of total application volume, with the refinance share reaching its highest level in 2011. As part of legislation to extend the payroll tax holiday, guarantee fees for loans purchased by the GSEs and mortgage insurance premiums for FHA loans will eventually increase. Given the announced implementation of this change, we do not expect to see an impact on mortgage rates and application activity until at least February," said Michael Fratantoni, MBA's Vice President of Research and Economics.
The following graph shows the MBA Purchase Index and four week moving average since 1990.

MBA Purchase Index Click on graph for larger image.

The purchase index decreased last week, and the 4-week average decreased slightly. This index has mostly been sideways for the last 2 years - and at about the same level as in 1997.