Mortgage applications rise in January

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 3, 2010) — The Mortgage Bankers Association last week released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 29, 2010. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased of 21.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 23.5 percent compared with the previous week.

“Mortgage application volume rebounded last week, returning the purchase and refinance indexes to levels from mid-December,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “Rates continue to hover around 5 percent, quite low by historical standards, but are well above the record lows seen in 2009, and hence are not generating substantial refi volume. We expect that rates will rise over the next few months as the Federal Reserve winds down its MBS purchase program, and this will likely lead to a decline in refinance volume.”

The Refinance Index increased 26.3 percent from the previous week and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 10.3 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 17.5 percent compared with the previous week and was 11.2 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is up 7.6 percent. The four week moving average is up 3.0 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, while this average is up 9.4 percent for the Refinance Index.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 69.2 percent of total applications from 67.6 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 4.5 percent from 4.7 percent of total applications from the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 5.01 percent from 5.02 percent, with points increasing to 1.04 from 1.00 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.33 percent from 4.34 percent, with points increasing to 1.17 from 1.14 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs decreased to 6.70 percent from 6.84 percent, with points increasing to 0.34 from 0.33 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

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