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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

MBA: Mortgage Applications decrease, Mortgage Rates highest since August 2012

by Calculated Risk on 3/13/2013 07:00:00 AM

From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

The Refinance Index decreased 5 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent from one week earlier.
“The announcement of stronger than anticipated job growth last week led to an increase in interest rates, with the 30 year fixed mortgage rate in our survey reaching the highest level in more than six months,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “Refinance applications declined as a result, but remain high given the steady flow of HARP applications.”
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) increased to 3.81 percent, the highest rate since August 2012, from 3.70 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.39 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
emphasis added
Refinance Index Click on graph for larger image.

The first graph shows the refinance index.

There has been a sustained refinance boom for over a year, and 76 percent of all mortgage applications are for refinancing.

Refinance activity will probably slow in 2013.

Purchase IndexThe second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index.  The 4-week average of the purchase index has generally been trending up (slowly) over the last six months.

This index will probably continue to increase as conventional home purchase activity increases.