As is always expected, mortgage applications
activity for the last two full weeks of 2012 fell dramatically. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), after
a one week hiatus for the Christmas holiday released data from its Weekly
Mortgage Applications Survey for the two weekly reporting periods ended
December 21 and December 28. The MBA's
Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage application volume, fell 21.6
percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the pre-holiday period ended
December 14. MBA did not release any non-seasonally
Refinance Index decreased 23.3 percent compared to the week ending December 14.
The refinance index fell for three consecutive weeks, with the week ending
December 28, 2012 at the lowest level since April 2012 but refinancing held its
market share at 82 percent, the same as during the last pre-holiday week. The
seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 14.8 percent compared with levels
reported two weeks ago.
Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed
Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed
released mortgage interest rates for the last week of the two week period
(December 28) and they were mixed. The
average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with
conforming loan balances of $417,500 or less increased one basis point to 3.52
percent with points moving to 0.48 from 0.45.
The effective rate increased from the previous week. The jumbo version of the 30-year FRM
(balances over $417,500) had an average contract rate of 3.75 percent with 0.30
point compared to 3.77 percent with 0.32 point and the effective rate decreased
from the previous week.
FRM backed by the FHA had an average contract rate of 3.34 percent, down from
3.35 percent while points increased from 0.58 to 0.61. The effective rate increased from the
For the week ended December 28 the average contract
interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 2.86 percent from
2.84 percent, with points increasing to 0.27 from 0.21 and the effective rate increased. The 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) had a
contract rate of 2.65 percent with 0.42 point compared to 2.66 percent with
0.33 point and the effective rate also increased.
MBA's survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail
residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since
1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and
thrifts. Rates quoted are for loans with a loan to value ratio of 80
percent and points include the applications fee. Base period and value for all indexes is
March 16, 1990=100.