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Mortgage Application Volume Hits a 12-Year Low: MBA

DEC 18, 2013 11:11am ET
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Mortgage application activity during the week ended Dec. 13 fell to its lowest level since 2001, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 5.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. The Refinance Index decreased 4% from the previous week, while the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 6%. The unadjusted Purchase Index was 12% lower than the same week one year ago.

Refis are now 66% of new applications, up from 65% one week prior.

Application activity is expected to remain flat for the rest of the year as consumers concentrate on their holiday purchases, Quicken Loans vice president Bill Banfield said in his comments regarding last week’s survey.

Meanwhile for the third consecutive week rates for jumbo mortgages remain lower than for the 30-year conforming loan.

The average contract rate for the 30-year conforming FRM is 4.62% (up one basis point) and for the 30-year FRM jumbo it is 4.61% (up two bps), the MBA says. The organization uses $417,000 as the conforming loan limit for survey purposes.

On Federal Housing Administration-insured loans, the average contract rate is down five bps to 4.25%, while for the 15-year FRM, the rate is unchanged at 3.66%.

The share of adjustable-rate mortgage loan applications remained in the range of 8%. The average contract rate for the 5/1 ARM is 3.1%, up nine bps.

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