Mortgage applications increased 5.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 15, 2011. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 5.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 5.9 percent compared with the previous week.
The Refinance Index increased 2.7 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 10.0 percent to its highest level since Dec. 3, 2010, driven largely by a 17.6 percent increase in government purchase applications. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 10.9 percent compared with the previous week and was 11.4 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
According to MBA's Mortgage Finance Forecast released earlier this week, in 2010, refinances were at 70 percent. Since 1990, the average rate of refis annually stood only at 44 percent. The purchase market is forecasted as rising from $473 billion in 2010, to $558 billion in 2011, and experiencing a nearly 70 percent two-year rise to $730 billion in 2012.
"Purchase application volume jumped last week largely due to another sharp increase in applications for government loans. Borrowers were likely motivated to apply for loans before the scheduled increase in FHA insurance premiums," said Michael Fratantoni, Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) vice president of research and economics. "Refinance activity increased somewhat, as rates dropped to their lowest level in a month towards the end of the week."
The four-week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is down 2.9 percent. The four week moving average is up 2.5 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, while this average is down 5.7 percent for the Refinance Index.
The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 58.5 percent of total applications from 60.3 percent the previous week. This is the lowest refinance share since May 7, 2010. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 6.5 percent from 5.9 percent of total applications from the previous week.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.83 percent from 4.98 percent, with points increasing to 1.07 from 0.93 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The effective rate also decreased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.07 percent from 4.17 percent, with points decreasing to 1.02 from 1.22 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate also decreased from last week.