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Mortgage Applications Tick Up 4.8% Last Week: MBA

Scheduled increases for government premiums and springtime for a still-steady recovery helped drive up mortgage application volume by 4.8 percent last week, the ""Mortgage Bankers Association"":http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA) said Wednesday.

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The trade group also found mortgage applications headed up by 5 percent on a seasonally unadjusted basis.

The Refinance Index ticked up 4 percent from last week, with the refinance share of mortgage activity on a decline to 71.2 percent of total application volume, down from 71.9 percent from the week before.

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The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity climbed to 5.5 percent, up from 5.4 percent last week. The Purchase Index went up 7.2 percent from the week before to a high unseen since December last year.

The MBA said the four-week moving average fell 2.07 percent and 3.73 percent for the Market and Refinance Indices on a seasonally adjusted basis, respectively, just as the average went up 3.48 percent for the Purchase Index.

""Applications for government loans increased by more than 10 percent over the week, for both purchase and refinance, likely spurred by borrowers seeking to apply before scheduled increases in FHA mortgage insurance premiums at the beginning of April,"" ""Michael Fratantoni"":http://www.mortgagebankers.org/files/SpeakersBureau/FrantantoniM.pdf, MBA's VP of research and economics, said in a statement.

The FHA had recently agreed to increase mortgage insurance premiums in accordance with stipulations from a stopgap spending measure passed by Congress last year.

├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£It├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós too early to conclude that March├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós increase in mortgage applications for home purchase is the start of an upward trend,├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø ""Paul Diggle"":http://www.capitaleconomics.com/staff/property-economics/paul-diggle.html, a property economist with consultancy ""Capital Economics"":http://www.capitaleconomics.com/, added in a separate note. ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£But the sharp rise in average loan size certainly seems consistent with an increasing appetite for mortgage credit.├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.
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