The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released data on mortgage application volume for the week ending January 3, 2014 which included summary information for the week ended December 27 when no report was issued.  Each week included adjustments to account for holidays, Christmas and New Years respectively. 

MBA's Market Composite Index increased 2.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis during the most recent week and 45 percent on an unadjusted basis.  The Refinance Index was up 5 percent for the week ended January 3 after falling 9 percent the week before.  Refinancing had a 63 percent share of the total application volume both weeks.

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index rose 2 percent the week of the Christmas holiday and decreased 1 percent the following week while the unadjusted Purchase Index increased 42 percent during the most recent period and was 20 percent lower than in the same week in 2012-2013.

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Rates were largely unchanged over the two week period and those given are for the week ended January 3.  The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming balances of $417,000 or less remained at 4.72 percent with 0.28 point.  The effective rate increased. The jumbo version of the 30-year FRM was also unchanged at 4.66 percent with points decreasing to 0.12 from 0.27.  The effective rate decreased.

Thirty-year FRM backed by the FHA had a rate increase from 4.35 percent to 4.36 percent with points unchanged at 0.15.  The effective rate increased from the previous week.

The contract rate for 15-year FRM increased to 3.77 percent from 3.73 percent.  Points decreased to 0.34 from 0.40 and the effective rate increased.

Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) held an 8 percent market share both weeks.  The contract rate of the 5/1 ARM increased to 3.33 percent with 0.44 point from 3.31 percent with 0.46 point and the effective rate increased.

Information on volume and rates is derived from MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey which has been conducted since 1990 and covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications.  Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts.  Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990.  Rates are quoted for loans with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio and points include the origination fee.