Mortgage Applications Rise, Refis up to 83% of New Business

Mortgage applications rose almost 5% for the week ending Nov. 30, a sign that consumer concerns about the ‘fiscal cliff’ are not having much effect on residential finance, at least when it comes to refis.

According to new figures compiled by the Mortgage Bankers Association, refinancings accounted for 83% of new business, compared to 81% the week before.

Jim Picard, vice president of home loans at Denali Alaskan Credit Union, recently told National Mortgage News that, “I have not heard of a single person holding off of a home purchase because of the possibility of the country falling off the fiscal cliff.”

During the week the average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) declined by one basis point to 3.52%, tying the all-time low, last seen for the week of Nov. 9.

The average contract rate for a 30-year FHA-insured loan fell two basis points to 3.34%, also tying the all-time low.

Bucking the trend was the rate for 30-year FRMs with jumbo loan balances, which rose four basis points to 3.79%.

MBA says its survey covers at least 75% of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications. It has been tracking the application market since 1990.