Applications for both home purchase and refinance were essentially flat during the week ended February 10.  The Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Market Composite Index, derived from its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey was down 1.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week and virtually unchanged on an unadjusted basis.

The Refinance Index increased a slight 0.8 percent from the week ended February 3 but this was enough to bring it to the highest level since late summer.  The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index was down 8.4 percent and down 3.3 percent on an unadjusted basis.  The later number was 7.6 percent lower than during the same week in 2011.

The four week moving averages for the seasonally adjusted Market and Purchase Indices were down 0.45 percent and 3.87 percent respectively and up 0.21 percent for the Refinance Index.  Applications for refinancing made up 81.1 of the total application volume, up from 80.5 percent from the previous week and the share of adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) decreased from 6.0 percent to 5.4 percent.

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Interest rates during the week were mixed.  The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) with a conforming balance of $417,500 or less increased to 4.08 percent with 0.51 point from 4.05 percent with 0.44 point.  The effective rate also increased.

Thirty-year jumbo FRM, those with a beginning balance larger than $417,500, had an average rate of 4.30 percent with 0.44 point compared to 4.29 percent with 0.43 point a week earlier.  The effective rate increased as well. 

The only loan type with a lower rate than that of the previous week was the 30-year FRM backed by FHA.  FHA loan rates decreased 2 basis points to 3.87 percent with points unchanged at 0.78 and the effective rate decreased. 

The rate for the 15-year FRM was unchanged at 3.33 percent, with points increasing to 0.40 from 0.37 and the effective rate was also unchanged.     

Rates for 5/1 ARMs increased to 2.93 percent from 2.91 percent, with points increasing to 0.42 from 0.40.  The effective rate increased.

The above rates are based on loans with an 80 percent loan to value ratio.  Points include the origination fee.

MBA reports that the average loan size in the U.S. during the month of January was $226,000.  The average loan size has been increasing in recent months and January's average loan was $1,000 higher than an average loan in December and was up from $207,000 in January 2011.  The range of average loans was $143,000 in Indiana to $375,000 in Washington, DC.  Loans for home purchases averaged $217,000 and for refinancing the average was $228,000.

MBA's weekly survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail and consumer direct residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990.  Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts.  Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.