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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

MBA: Refinance Activity Highest since 2009

by Calculated Risk on 7/25/2012 07:01:00 AM

From the MBA: As Low Rate Environment Persists, Refinance Applications Reach Highest Level Since 2009 in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

The Refinance Index increased 2 percent from the previous week to its highest level since April 19, 2009. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent from one week earlier to its lowest level since June 22, 2012.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) remained unchanged at 3.74 percent, the lowest rate in the history of the survey, with points decreasing to 0.43 from 0.45 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
Purchase Index Click on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index. The purchase index has been mostly moving sideways over the last two years.

Note: Yesterday Zillow reported record low mortgage rates in their survey: "30-year fixed mortgage rate on Zillow(R) Mortgage Marketplace is currently 3.35 percent, down seven basis points from 3.42 percent at the same time last week."

Refinance IndexThe second graph shows the refinance index.

The refinance index is at the highest level since 2009.

This increase in refinance activity is probably a result of both record low mortgage rates and HARP activity.