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Economic News

Mortgage application volume up, fueled by new home purchases

Mortgage application volume, used to gauge market interest and willingness to purchase, rose this week, pointing to a potentially healthier spring for real estate sales.

mortgage application volume

Mortgage application volume improves

According to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 18, 2013, mortgage application volume rose 7.0 from the week prior, with new purchase applications hitting their highest level since May of 2010.

The Refinance Index increased 8.0 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 3.0 percent for the week, primarily for conventional loans which were at their highest level since October of 2009. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 9 percent compared with the previous week and was 26 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity was unchanged from the previous week at 82 percent of total applications. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 4 percent of total applications.

Mortgage interest rates

According to the MBA:

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  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) increased to 3.62 percent from 3.61 percent, with points increasing to 0.43 from 0.38 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The contract interest rate for 30-year fixed mortgages has increased for five of the last six weeks. The effective rate increased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500) decreased to 3.85 percent from 3.88 percent, with points decreasing to 0.34 from 0.38 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 3.40 percent from 3.39 percent, with points decreasing to 0.53 from 0.58 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 2.87 percent from 2.88 percent, with points increasing to 0.39 from 0.27 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 2.61 percent from 2.66 percent, with points decreasing to 0.32 from 0.34 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

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