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MBA Survey Shows Mortgage Applications on the Rise

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Mortgage applications increased 11.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 7, 2012. This week’s results include the customary upward adjustment for the Labor Day holiday.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 11.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 12 percent compared with the previous week. The adjusted Refinance Index increased 12 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 8 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased more than 15 percent compared with the previous week and was 7 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The holiday adjusted numbers may overstate the level of refinance applications because some lenders who rely primarily on the internet/consumer direct channel for originations saw little if any decline in applications for Labor Day as compared with the drops for lenders relying on retail offices, perhaps because borrowers had additional time over the Labor Day weekend to complete online refinance applications.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 80 percent of total applications from 79 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 4.5 percent of total applications.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) decreased to 3.75 percent from 3.78 percent, with points increasing to 0.44 from 0.37 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500) decreased to 4.00 percent from 4.05 percent, with points decreasing to 0.30 from 0.32 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.50 percent from 3.54 percent, with points decreasing to 0.43 from 0.44 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. This 30-year FHA contract rate marks a new low for the survey. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.07 percent from 3.10 percent, with points increasing to 0.38 from 0.37 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 2.63 percent from 2.64 percent, with points increasing to 0.47 from 0.35 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. This 5/1 ARM contract rate is the lowest recorded in the survey. The effective rate increased from last week.

For more information, visit www.mortgagebankers.org.

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