Mortgage Apps Up for 3rd Week; Conventional Loans at Highest Level Since 2009

Mortgage Apps Up for 3rd Week; Conventional Loans at Highest Level since 2009An industry group says its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, measuring both home purchases and refinancing, rose 7 percent in the week ended Jan 18, the third straight weekly increase.
The seasonally adjusted index for refinance applications gained 7.7 percent, while the gauge of loans for home purchases grew by 2.5 percent, according to the weekly update from the Mortgage Bankers Association.
The purchase index was at its highest level since May of 2010, immediately following the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit.
The jump in purchase applications was primarily for conventional loans, with the seasonally adjusted Conventional Purchase Index at its highest level since October of 2009.
Conventional loans typically require 20 percent down and are not insured by the FHA or VA. Conventional loans can carry better interest rates than non-conventional loans
The refinance share of mortgage activity was unchanged from the previous week at 82 percent of total applications, the MBA said. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 4 percent of total applications.
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, 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.

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