The organization is reporting a 1.3% increase in mortgage application volume on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ended Aug. 30, the primary factor being a 2% rise in the Refinance Index.
The share of refi apps is now at 61%, up from 60% one week ago. The subset of Home Affordable Refinance Program applications for the week hit 38%, up three percentage points from the prior week and the highest level since MBA starting tracking this area.
Purchase application volume decreased 0.4% on a seasonally adjusted compared with the previous week. On an unadjusted basis, it is 6% higher for the same week in 2012.
There are a number of economic and geopolitical factors that are influencing mortgage rate movement right now, said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com.
"Mortgage rates continue to be pulled back and forth by both economic and political considerations," he said. "The economy appears to be growing at a fair clip, but in an uneven pattern, so investors must keep trying to guess how the Federal Reserve will proceed with its plans for ending extraordinary monetary support. Meanwhile, the difficult situation in Syria and the Middle East is causing wary overseas investors to push some cash into the relative safety of U.S. Treasury bonds, pressing rates lower."
HSH.com’s weekly mortgage radar found the average rate for the 30-year fixed rate mortgage declined by three basis points during the week ended Tuesday, to 4.63%.
Zillow Mortgage Marketplace’s rate tracker finds the 30-year fixed mortgage rate rising over the past week by eight basis points to 4.45% as of Tuesday afternoon.
Erin Lantz, director of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, said, “Although the month-end unemployment report is always an important focus for markets, this week most attention will be focused on whether the Syrian situation intensifies, pushing investors into safer investments which would likely push mortgage rates down.”
According to the MBA application survey, the average contract rate for the 30-year conforming FRM (MBA defines this as a loan with a balance of $417,500 or under) for the survey period is 4.73%, down seven basis points from the previous week. Federal Housing Administration-insured loans had an average contract rate for the week of 4.48%, a decline of four basis points from the previous week.
Jumbo 30-year FRMs saw the average contract rate decline by seven basis points to 4.71%. MBA said the rate for the 15-year FRM moved down nine basis points to 3.75%.
The share of adjustable-rate mortgages was 7% of the week’s loan applications and the average contract rate for the 5/1 ARM fell by a single basis point to 3.49%.