MBA: Purchase Application Volume Continues to Improve

Mortgage application volume rose for the third consecutive week with purchase volume at its highest level since the expiration of the Obama administration’s home buyer tax credit program. For the week ended Jan. 18, total application volume was up 7%, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The increase in application volume is occurring even though interest rates on the popular 30-year conforming fixed-rate mortgage have risen five of the last six weeks.

The Refinance Index was up 8% over the previous week, while the seasonally adjusted purchase index was up 3%, its highest point since May 2010.

The MBA said the increase in purchase applications was primarily for conventional loans, as the seasonally adjusted Conventional Purchase Index was at its highest level since October 2009.

On an unadjusted basis, purchase applications are up 26% when compared with the same week in 2012.

The market share of refi apps continues to remain at 82%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) was up one basis point to 3.62%. The average contract interest rate for 30-year FHA-insured loans increased one basis point to 3.4%.

The MBA’s data showed the average contract rate for jumbo 30-year FRMs bucking the trend, falling three basis points to 3.85%, while the rate for 15-year FRMs also decline, moving down one basis point to 2.87%. The rate for the 5/1 ARM fell by five basis points to 2.61%.