Mortgage Applications Rise

The latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association shows that mortgage applications for the beginning of January rose after falling the last two weeks of December, with the December reduction allowing for any Christmas holiday decline.

According to the MBA mortgage applications increased for the first week of January, this likewise adjusted for the New Year’s holiday. The increase was 11.7 percent higher than one week earlier according to the MBA’s Mortgage Application Survey.

Survey respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. The survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers over 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications in the U.S.

The Market composite Index, which is a measure of the volume for mortgage loan applications, increased by 11.7 percent over the previous week, this on a seasonally adjusted basis. The index increased by 49 percent on an unadjusted basis, this also compared to one week earlier.

The Refinance Index increased 12 percent from the preceding week, but is up less than 1 percent form two weeks prior.

Refinance originations still dominate the mortgage market with refinance activity making up 82 percent of total applications. There was no change from the previous week, which also registered 82 percent of mortgage activity.

The Purchase Index increased by 10 percent over the previous week, this on a seasonally adjusted basis. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased by 49 percent also compared to the previous week, but was 8 percent lower than the same period one year earlier.

Clearly fixed-rate mortgages are the loan of choice. This fact is validated in that adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) activity captured only a 3 percent share of loan activity for the week, this figure unchanged from a week earlier. The HARP share of refinance activity decreased to 25 percent, down from 27 percent a week earlier.