The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) has released its Weekly Mortgage Applications
Survey for the week ending August 19, 2011.
With purchase mortgage applications at the lowest level since 1996, the
Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage application volume, decreased 2.4 on a seasonally
adjusted basis from one week earlier. On
an unadjusted basis it was down 2.9 percent.
The changes were driven by the Purchase Index which dropped 5.7 percent
on an adjusted basis and 7.3 percent unadjusted and was 7.3 percent lower than
the same week one year ago.
The Refinance Index
lost 1.7 percent although the market share of refinancing continued to climb,
accounting for 79.8 of all mortgage applications, an increase of 1 percentage
point and the highest percentage since November 2010. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM)
share of activity increased
to 6.2 percent from 5.8 percent of total
applications from the previous week.
four-week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is up 6.9
percent since last week. The four week moving
average for the Purchase Index slipped 2.6 percent while the moving average for
the Refinancing Index jumped 9.9 percent.
"Another week of volatile markets
and rampant uncertainty regarding the economy kept prospective homebuyers on
the sidelines, with purchase applications falling to a 15-year low," said
Mike Fratantoni, MBA's Vice President of Research and Economics. This decline
impacted borrowers across the board, with purchase applications for jumbo loans
falling by more than 15 percent, and purchase applications for the government
housing programs (FHA, VA, and USDA) falling by 8.2 percent. Although mortgage
rates remain quite low, they increased over the week, bringing refinance
application volumes down slightly."
average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.39 percent from 4.32 percent, with points
including the origination fee increasing
to 0.88 from 0.86 for 80 percent
loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The
average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.56 percent with 1.0
point from 3.47 percent with 1.08 points. The
effective rate for both types of loan also increased from last week.
survey covers over 50 percent of all U.S. retail 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.