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Mortgage Applications Fall 2.6% From Week Before: MBA

Mortgage applications fell 2.6 percent from the week before as mortgage rates slammed into news lows, the ""Mortgage Bankers Association"":http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA) said Wednesday.

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The Market Composite Index, a measure of loan application volume, contracted by 2.8 percent on a seasonally unadjusted basis from the week before, while the Refinance Index fell 1.6 percent during the same time frame.

The Purchase Index meanwhile dropped 4.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week earlier, compared with a 7.5-percent shortfall for the same on a seasonally unadjusted basis.

The four-week moving average ticked down by 0.26 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis and fell 1.53 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, even while it inched

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forward by 1.32 percent for the Refinance Index.

The refinance share of activity meanwhile shot up to 80.7 percent of total application volume, a move up from 79.7 percent seen from the week before. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity also fell to a 5.1-percent low from 5.6 percent from the week before.

""Continued anxiety surrounding the fragile economic situation in Europe led interest rates lower last week. However, refinance applications fell slightly, and purchase applications dropped further as we head into the end of the year,"" ""Michael Fratantoni"":http://www.mbaa.org/files/SpeakersBureau/FrantantoniM.pdf, MBA's VP of research and economics, said in a statement.

""Remarkably low rates are not enough, as many homeowners continue to hold back due to lack of equity in their properties, poor credit and a weak job market,"" he added.

The MBA said that average loan size for home-purchase mortgages amounted to $217,774 in November, a shift upward from $213,430 in October. The Pacific saw the largest refinance loan at $304,509.

Interest rates for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with conforming loan balances below $417,500 meanwhile hit 4.08 percent ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the lowest rate this year ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô down from 4.12 percent from the week before.

For loan balances above $417,500, interest rates for 30-year loans declined to 4.44 percent, also a rock-bottom rate this year.

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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