Mortgage applications decreased 7.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 25, 2011. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, mortgage applications decreased 7.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 7.2 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 10.1 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 1.7 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 1.5 percent compared with the previous week and was 21.9 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
"Treasury and mortgage rates increased towards the end of last week, as global markets calmed following the recent crises in Japan and the Middle East. Refinance volume predictably fell in response to these rate increases. As rates climb back to 5 percent, fewer homeowners have both the incentive and the ability to refinance," said Michael Fratantoni, vice president of research and economics for the Mortgage Bankers Association. "Purchase volume remained roughly flat as we enter what is typically the peak homebuying season."
The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is up two percent. The four week moving average is up 2.1 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, while this average is up two percent for the Refinance Index.
The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 64.3 percent of total applications from 66.4 percent the previous week. This is the second lowest refinance share reported since May 2010. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 5.7 percent from 5.9 percent of total applications from the previous week.
The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.16 percent from 4.02 percent, with points increasing to 0.99 from 0.90 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate also increased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.92 percent from 4.80 percent, with points decreasing to 0.83 from 0.96 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The effective rate also increased from last week.