MBA Finds Applications Decline for First Time in 2013

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%.