Mortgage activity increased during the week ended November 9 as parts of the states most impacted by Hurricane Sandy in late October were able to return to more normal activity.  The Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, a measure of applications volume, increased 12.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis and 12 percent on an unadjusted basis from the week ended November 2. 

Applications for both refinancing and home purchases increased.  The Refinancing Index was up 13 percent following five consecutive weeks of decline and the share of applications for refinancing rose to 81 percent from 80 percent the previous week.  The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 11 percent form one week earlier while the unadjusted Purchase Index was 8 percent higher than the previous week and 22 percent above that of the same week in 2011. 

"Following the decrease in applications two weeks ago due to the effects of superstorm Sandy, mortgage applications in many East Coast states rebounded strongly this week," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA's Vice President of Research and Economics.  "Application volume in New Jersey more than doubled over the week, while volume in Connecticut and New York increased more than 60 percent. In addition to the rebound in the states impacted by the storm, the 30 year fixed mortgage rate reached a new record low in the survey."

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Both average contract interest rates and effective rates for mortgage loans with 80 percent loan to value ratios decreased across the board.  Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with balances of $417,500 or less hit yet another record low rate with an average contract rate of 3.52 percent with 0.41 point (including the origination fee) compared to 3.61 percent with 0.45 point the previous week. 

The rate for 30-year jumbo FRM with balances over $417,500 decreased to 3.83 percent from 3.88 percent with points rising to 0.41 from 0.36.  FHA-backed 30-year FRM rates decreased by 3 basis points to 3.34 percent and points rose from 0.75 to 0.78.   Fifteen-year FRM rates fell to 2.88 percent with 0.37 point from 2.95 percent with points 0.40 point.  

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) maintained a market share of 4 percent.  The contract rate for the 5/1 adjustable version was 2.60 percent with 0.30 point compared to 2.61 percent with 0.41 point.

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.  Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.