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Mortgage Loan Applications Up in Latest MBA Survey

June 5, 2002

Refinance Index Decreases from Previous Week

WASHINGTON, D.C.(June 5) The market composite index of mortgage loan applications-a measure of mortgage loan applications for purchases and refinancings-for the week ending May 31 increased 13.6 percent to 587.4 on a seasonally adjusted basis from 516.9 the previous week, according to the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBA), which was released today. On an unadjusted basis, the application index decreased 9.3 percent but was up 13.7 percent compared to the same week a year earlier.

The MBA seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased to 414.0 from 348.3 the previous week, establish a new record that was previously set the week ended May 3, 2002 at 382.7. The seasonally adjusted Refinance Index increased to 1596.4 from 1497.5 the previous week. Other seasonally adjusted index activity included the Conventional Index, which increased to 790.8 from 705.3 the previous week, and the Government Index, which increased to 248.0 from 202.6 the previous week.

As a result of the Memorial Day holiday and the resulting four-day work week, all seasonally-adjusted indexes were given a one-day holiday adjustment of 25 percent over normal non-holiday numbers. This one-day adjustment has been done every week in which the Memorial Day holiday occurred.

"Lower-than-expected interest rates have helped the boom in the housing sector to continue," stated Phil Colling, an MBA economist. "Housing demand has also been enhanced by improved economic conditions and various demographic factors. Although the new record in the seasonally-adjusted purchase index is explained in part by the holiday adjustment, the recent high levels of the purchase index reflect the strength in the housing market."

Refinancing activity represented 37.2 percent of total applications, decreasing from 39.5 percent the previous week. The share of ARM activity decreased to 16.4 percent from 17.0 percent the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for30-year fixed rate mortgages was 6.66 percent, decreasing from 6.70 percent the previous week, with points decreasing to 1.42 from 1.48 the previous week (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.

The average contract interest rate for15-year fixed rate mortgages was 6.11 percent, decreasing from 6.20 the previous week, with points decreasing slightly to 1.26 from 1.27the previous week (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.

The average contract interest rate for 1-year ARMs was 4.55 percent, decreasing from 4.71 percent the previous week, with points increasing to 1.14 from 0.98 the previous week (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

Copyright: Inman News Service

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