March 16th, 2011
Econintersect: Mortgage applications decreased 0.7 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 11, 2011.
The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 0.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 0.5 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 0.9 percent from the previous week and is the highest Refinance Index recorded in the survey since December 2010. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 4.0 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 3.2 percent compared with the previous week and was 15.5 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
Econintersect has analyzed mortgage applications and believes that high cash purchases are distorting the mortgage picture when comparing the current low mortgage picture to past levels. In other words, this index is likely not accurately forecasting home sales.
The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 66.4 percent of total applications from 65.5 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 5.6 percent from 6.0 percent of total applications from the previous week.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.79 percent from 4.93 percent, with points increasing to 1.07 from 0.87 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. This is the lowest contract 30-year rate observed in the survey since the week ending January 14, 2011. The effective rate also decreased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.03 percent from 4.17 percent, with points decreasing to 0.85 from 1.15 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. This is the lowest contract 15-year interest rate observed in the survey since the week ending December 3, 2010. The effective rate also decreased from last week.