Mortgage Applications Surge 7% with Rates At or Near Lows

Mortgage Applications Surge 7% with Rates At or Near LowsMortgage applications jumped 7 percent last week from one week earlier, as refinancing made up the largest share of activity since December 2012, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.
Mortgage rates at or near record lows drove the gains.
The group’s Refinance Index was boosted by surges in both conventional and government refinances of 8.8 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively.
The seasonally-adjusted Purchase Index increased 2 percent from one week earlier to the highest level since May 2010.
The Market Composite Index, a measure of applications for both purchases and refinances, increased 7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.
Meanwhile, the refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 76 percent of total applications, from 75 percent the previous week, to the highest level since February 2013.
The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 4 percent of total applications.
The HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) share of refinance applications fell from 34 percent last week (a new high) to 30 percent this week. HARP helps borrowers with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac home loans refinance, even if they are deep in negative equity.
The government share of purchase applications declined to 29.1 percent, which is a two-year low.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less), decreased to 3.59 percent, the lowest rate since December 2012, from 3.60 percent, for80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500), decreased to 3.79 percent from 3.80 percent, for 80 percent LTV loans.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) increased to 3.35 percent from 3.34 percent, for 80 percent LTV loans.
The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 2.81 percent, the lowest rate in the history of the survey, from 2.84 percent, for 80 percent LTV loans.

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