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The Year's Lowest Rates Cause of the 2011 Refi Boom

Jun 15, 2011

Mortgage applications increased 13 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending June 10, 2011. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 13 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 24.5 percent compared with the previous week, which included Memorial Day. The Refinance Index increased 16.5 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 4.5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 14.2 percent compared with the previous week and was 6.1 percent higher than the same week one year ago. "Mortgage rates have declined for 8 of the past nine weeks. Coming off of the Memorial Day holiday, refinance application volume increased significantly, as borrowers jumped to lock in the lowest mortgage rates since last November," said Michael Fratantoni, MBA's vice president of research and economics. "The volume of refinance applications still remains 28 percent below levels seen at that time, as borrowers with an incentive to refinance remain constrained from doing so by lack of equity in their homes." The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is up 2.4 percent. The four week moving average is up 0.3 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, while this average is up 3.1 percent for the Refinance Index. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 70 percent of total applications from 67.3 percent the previous week. This is the highest refinance share since Jan. 21, 2011. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity remained unchanged at 6.1 percent of total applications from the previous week. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.51 percent from 4.54 percent, with points increasing to 1.05 from 0.94 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. This is the lowest 30-year average rate since November 19, 2010. The effective rate also decreased from last week. The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages remained unchanged at 3.67 percent, while points also remained unchanged at 1.06 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. This is the lowest 15-year average contract rate since November 5, 2010. The effective rate increased from last week.
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