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Mortgage Applications Increase As Refinancing Hits 5-Year High

January 14, 2009

Record low mortgage rates boost refinance activity in latest MBA weekly survey for the week ending January 9, 2009. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, was 1324.8, an increase of 15.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from 1143.8 one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 95.7 percent compared with the previous week and was up 52.4 percent compared with the same week one year earlier.

The Refinance Index increased 25.6 percent to 7414.1 from 5904.5 the previous week and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 14.1 percent to 295.8 from 344.2 one week earlier. The Refinance Index is at its highest level since the week ending June 27, 2003, when it was 8599.1.

The seasonally adjusted Conventional Purchase Index decreased 10.3 percent while the Government Purchase Index (largely FHA) decreased 21.8 percent.

The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is up 10.8 percent. The four week moving average is up 0.8 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, while this average is up 13.8 percent for the Refinance Index.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 85.3 percent of total applications from 79.8 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 1.1 percent from 0.9 percent of total applications from the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.89 percent from 5.07 percent, with points increasing to 1.20 from 1.16 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The contract rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages is the lowest recorded in the survey. The previous low was 4.99 percent for the week ending June 13, 2003.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.63 percent from 4.67 percent, with points decreasing to 1.14 from 1.16 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs decreased to 5.89 percent from 5.90 percent, with points decreasing to 0.11 from 0.31 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

Source: MBA



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