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MBA: Refis and Mortgage Applications Jump

On Wednesday the ""Mortgage Bankers Association"":http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA) released its weekly survey, showing jumps in mortgage applications by 15.5 percent and by 23.1 percent in refinances, respectively, from the previous week.

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According to the survey, mortgage loan application volume went up over 15 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, with a steady increase by 43.9 percent on an unadjusted basis from the week earlier. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index dipped by 0.1 percent from the past week, while it shot up 25.1 percent on an unadjusted basis. This same time last year, the Purchase Index lingered at a rate 8.3 percent lower than the rate today.

""Ongoing turmoil in the financial markets primarily due to the sovereign debt crisis in Europe has brought mortgage rates back to their lowest levels of the year,"" Michael Fratantoni, ""MBA's"":http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm VP of research and economics, said in a statement.

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""Refinance applications have surged in response and the refinance index is at its second highest level of the year. One factor that may be contributing to this increase is that borrowers potentially impacted by impending decreases in the conforming loan limit may be opting to lock in fixed-rate financing now.""

Speaking to _MReport_, Fratantoni attributes the uptick in refinance and mortgage applications to ""some economic news over the last couple of months, particularly the disappointing jobs report. With sovereign debt crises in Greece, Portugal, and Spain... that kind of uncertainty makes the Treasury security the gold standard globally in a lot of ways.""

The seasonally adjusted Market Index reported a 0.3 percent four-week moving average, even while the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index declined by the same rate. The survey found that the Refinance Index shot up by an average 0.5 percent, reflecting a 70.1 percent uptick in refinance shares for mortgage activity. Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) went up from 5.5 percent to 5.8 percent from the past week.

Meanwhile, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages crept low to 4.54 percent, down from 4.55 percent, with points dropping from 0.99 to 0.98 for loan-to-value ratio loans. For 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, the survey held, overall points declined from 1.10 to 0.97, with the effective rate bottoming out at a 10-month low.

According to its Web site, the ""MBA"":http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm is a trade association representing the nation's mortgage bankers.

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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