JAN 30, 2013 10:21am ET

MBA Finds Applications Decline for First Time in 2013

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For the first time this year, mortgage lenders reported receiving fewer loan applications compared with the previous week, as the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted application index was down 8.1% for the week ended Jan. 25. The data were adjusted to take into account Martin Luther King Day.

The Refinance Index decreased 10% from the previous week, while the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 2%. The unadjusted Purchase Index was 2% higher than the same week in 2011.

Refis apps made up 79% of total volume, down from 82% the previous week, but HARP refi applications increased to 26% from 25% during the same time frame.

The average contract rate for the conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (which the MBA defines as $417,500 or under) hit its highest point since last September, up five basis points to 3.67%. This makes six out of the last seven weeks this rate has increased.

The MBA reported the average contract rate for 30-year Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages increased by eight basis points to 3.48%, while for 30-year jumbo loans (any loan with a balance over $417,500), the average contract rate increased by 10 basis points to 3.95%.

For 15-year FRMs, the average contract rate rose eight basis points to 2.95%. But the average contract rate on the 5/1 adjustable declined one basis point to 2.61%.

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