Both mortgage applications and
interest rates moved sharply during the week ended March 1. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA)
reported that its Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage application
volume, increased 14.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous
week and 15 percent unadjusted. At the
same time interest rates dropped, some by double digits.
The Refinance Index increased 15
percent to its highest level since mid-January although the refinancing share
of applications remained unchanged at 77 percent. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index
increased 15 percent as well and the unadjusted Purchase Index was up 18
percent compared to the week ended February 22 and was 17 percent higher than
the same week in 2012.
Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed
Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed
as well as contract rates were down for all products covered by MBA's Weekly
Mortgage Application Survey. The average
contract rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loans
balances ($417,500) decreased to 3.70 percent with 0.39 point from 3.77
percent with 0.48 point. This was the
lowest rate for the conforming 30-year since January 25.
contract rate for 30-year FRM with balances over $417,500) fell 13 basis points
to 3.80 percent with points unchanged at 0.37.
30-year FRM rates decreased to 3.47 percent from 3.54 percent and points
decreased to 0.33 from 0.41.
The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate
mortgages decreased to 2.96 percent from 3.03 percent, the lowest
contract rate since the week ending January 25, 2013, with points increasing to
0.36 from 0.34.
The rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged
2.55 percent, 10 basis points below the rate the previous week. Points increased to 0.37 from 0.36. As has been the case for months, ARMs had
about a 4 percent share of mortgage applications.
quoted are for loans with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio and points include
the originations fee.
The survey covers
over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has
been conducted since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers,
commercial banks and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is
March 16, 1990=100.