Despite Record-Low Rates, Apps See 2.6 Weekly Drop – NMP Skip to main content

Despite Record-Low Rates, Apps See 2.6 Weekly Drop

NationalMortgageProfessional.com
Dec 21, 2011

Despite record-low mortgage rates of 3.94 percent, mortgage applications decreased 2.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Dec. 16, 2011. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 2.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 2.8 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 1.6 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 4.9 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 7.5 percent compared with the previous week and was 6.9 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is up 0.26 percent. The four week moving average is down 1.53 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, while this average is up 1.32 percent for the Refinance Index. "Continued anxiety surrounding the fragile economic situation in Europe led interest rates lower last week. However, refinance applications fell slightly, and purchase applications dropped further as we head into the end of the year," said Michael Fratantoni, MBA's VP of research and economics. "Remarkably low rates are not enough, as many homeowners continue to hold back due to lack of equity in their properties, poor credit and a weak job market." The refinance share of mortgage activity reached a high this year of 80.7 percent of total applications from 79.7 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to a low this year of 5.1 percent from 5.6 percent of total applications from the previous week. The average loan size of all loans for home purchases nationwide was $217,774 in November 2011, up from $213,430 in October 2011. The average loan size for a refinance increased from $217,153 in October to $220,523 in November. The average government purchase loan size declined from October to November, from $186,263 to $170,742. The largest purchase loans were made in the Pacific region at $308,307. The largest refinance loans were also made in the Pacific region at $304,509. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) decreased to 4.08 percent, the lowest rate this year, from 4.12 percent, with points increasing to 0.49 from 0.45 (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 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500) decreased to 4.44 percent, the lowest rate this year, from 4.47 percent, with points decreasing to 0.37 from 0.45 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTVs. The effective rate also decreased from last week. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.93 percent, the lowest rate this year, from 3.94 percent, with points decreasing to 0.63 from 0.68 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTVs. The effective rate also decreased from last week. The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.39 percent, the lowest rate this year, from 3.44 percent, with points decreasing to 0.40 from 0.52 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTVs. The effective rate also decreased from last week. The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 2.90 percent, the lowest rate this year, from 2.93 percent, with points decreasing to 0.46 from 0.53 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTVs. The effective rate also decreased from last week.
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