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Just In: Purchase Applications Decrease, Refinance Mortgage Activity Increases

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Mortgage applications decreased 1.0 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 10, 2012.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 1.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index was essentially unchanged compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 0.8 percent from the previous week to its highest level since August 8, 2011. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 8.4 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 3.3 percent compared with the previous week and was 7.6 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is down 0.45 percent. The four week moving average is down 3.87 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, while this average is up 0.21 percent for the Refinance Index.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 81.1 percent of total applications from 80.5 percent the previous week. This is the highest refinance share since January 20, 2012. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 5.4 percent from 6.0 percent of total applications from the previous week.

The average loan size in the United States in January 2012 was $226,000. Average loan size has been increasing in recent months, up from $225,000 in December 2011 and up from $207,000 in January 2011. The District of Columbia has the highest average loan size in the nation at $375,000 while Indiana had the lowest average loan size at $143,000. Across the country, the average loan size was $217,000 for home purchase applications and $228,000 for refinances in the month of January.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) increased to 4.08 percent from 4.05 percent, with points increasing to 0.51 from 0.44 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The effective rate also increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500) increased to 4.30 percent from 4.29 percent, with points increasing to 0.44 from 0.43 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The effective rate also increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.87 percent from 3.89 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.78 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages remained unchanged at 3.33 percent, with points increasing to 0.40 from 0.37 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 2.93 percent from 2.91 percent, with points increasing to 0.42 from 0.40 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The effective rate also increased from last week.

For more information, visit www.mortgagebankers.org.

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