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Mortgage Loan Applications Up In Latest MBA Weekly Survey

September 11, 2002

Refinance Index Increases From Previous Week

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The market composite index of mortgage loan applications -- a measure of mortgage loan applications for purchases and refinancings -- for the week ending September 6 increased 16.9 percent to a record high of 1238.2 on a seasonally-adjusted basis from 1059.5, 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 7.0 percent but was up 106.2 percent compared to the same week a year earlier.

The MBA seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased to 401.6 from 359.7 the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Refinance Index increased to a record high of 6104.3 from 5129.6 the previous week. Other seasonally adjusted index activity included the Conventional Index, which increased to 1801.7 from the 1532.1 the previous week. The Government Index increased to 297.6 from 270.8 the previous week.

"The actual number of mortgage applications decreased only seven percent last week compared to the previous week," noted Phil Colling, an MBA economist. "This is especially remarkable when you consider that last week included only four business days because of the Labor Day holiday. The seasonally-adjusted indexes were adjusted upward to account for the one-day holiday effect, as has always been done during weeks with Monday holidays. The holiday adjustment combined with strong mortgage applications activity resulted in record highs for the seasonally-adjusted market composite and refinance indexes."

Refinancing activity represented 72.5 percent of total applications, increasing from 70.9 percent the previous week. The share of ARM activity decreased slightly to 12.3 percent from 12.4 percent the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgages increased to 6.10 percent from the record low of 5.99 percent the previous week, with points decreasing to 1.54 from 1.59 the previous week (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed rate mortgages increased to 5.44 percent from the record low of 5.40 percent the previous week, with points decreasing to 1.45 from to 1.53 the previous week (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The previous record low for the 15-year fixed rate of 5.52 percent occurred the week ended August 9, 2002.

The average contract interest rate for 1-year ARMs was 4.16 percent, remaining the same as the previous week, with points decreasing slightly to 1.10 from 1.13 the previous week (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

Source: Mortgage Bankers Association



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