March 9th, 2011
Econintersect: The Mortgage Bankers' Association reports that mortage applications rose last week by 15.5% from a week earlier. On a seasonally adjusted basis this was the highest level for applications in 2011. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 16.1 percent compared with the previous week. The previous week did not include a holiday adjustment for Presidents' Day.
"Taking into account typical seasonal patterns, purchase applications rose to their highest level of the year last week. On an unadjusted basis, purchase application activity is the highest since last May," said Michael Fratantoni, MBA's Vice President of Research and Economics. "An improving job market is beginning to pave the way for an improving housing market. Additionally, mortgage interest rates remained below 5 percent for a second week, maintaining affordability for buyers and leading to an increase in refinance applications."
The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is up 2.7 percent. The four week moving average is up 1.2 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, while this average is up 3.6 percent for the Refinance Index.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.93 percent from 4.84 percent, with points decreasing to 0.87 from 1.29 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The effective rate also increased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages remained unchanged at 4.17 percent, with points increasing to 1.15 from 1.07 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
The historical perspective is seen in the graph from Calculated Risk:
Click here for larger image.