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Mortgage Application Volume Plummets 10%: MBA

With homeowners largely staying on the sidelines, mortgage application volume underwent a seasonally adjusted 10-percent squeeze last week, according to the ""Mortgage Bankers Association"":http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA).

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In releasing the _Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey_, the trade group found that declines overwhelmingly led most of the survey components.

""Mike Fratantoni"":http://www.mbaa.org/MichaelFratantoni.htm, MBA's VP of research and economics, attributes the declines to simple economics, telling _MReport_ that he feels ""people have gotten a lot more conservative. They're saving more, paying down debt more quickly.""

The MBA found the Market Composite Index declining by 19.6 percent on a seasonally unadjusted basis from the week before, with the Refinance Index falling by 2.3 percent from the week before and the unadjusted Purchase Index diving by 14.8 percent.

These numbers still climbed 9.5 percent lower than those seen over the same week one year before.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Purchase Index slid back by 2.3 percentage points, even while it fell by 14.8

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percent on an unadjusted basis ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a figure still 9.5 percent lower than those recorded over the same time frame a year ago.

Just before ""Fannie Mae"":http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/index.html and ""Freddie Mac"":http://www.freddiemac.com/ announced their new guidelines for the Home Affordable Refinance Program, the refinance share of activity fell to hit 77.3 percent last week, down from 78.6 percent the week before.

Fratantoni says that refinancing activity stayed behind on the basis of stagnant mortgage rates, with Freddie Mac reporting last week that the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hovered around 3.99 percent.

He notes that refinancing activity for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage crested at the highest rate ever

In other news, the four-week moving average inched forward by 1.02 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, even while the Purchase Index reflected a 2.53-percent increase and the Refinance Index went up 0.61 percent.

Falling from 5.8 percent from the week before, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) climbed to 6.1 percent last week. Home purchase applications saw 85.5 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, 6.9 for 15-year mortgages, and 5.9 percent for ARMs ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the lowest since January this year.

Contract interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances hit 4.23 percent, up from 4.22 percent, while 30-year loans with jumbo loan balances declined to 4.56 percent, down from 4.57 percent.

Contract interest rates for FHA-backed 30-year loans inched forward to 4.03 percent, up from 4.02 percent, while those for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages stayed about the same at 3.54 percent. Contract interest rates for 5-year and 1-year ARMs meanwhile hovered at 3.01 percent.

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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