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Applications and the 30-Year Fixed Rate Decline in Latest MBA Survey

September 27, 2006

This week the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey found the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 4.9 percent to 566.5, from 595.8 one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 5.4 percent compared with the previous week and was down 21.1 percent compared with the same week one year earlier. 

The seasonally-adjusted Purchase Index decreased by 5.5 percent to 375.9 from 397.9 the previous week and the Refinance Index decreased by 4.1 percent to 1677.5 from 1748.7 one week earlier. The Purchase Index is at its lowest level since November 2003. Other seasonally adjusted index activity includes the Conventional Index, which decreased by 5 percent to 840 from 884.6 the previous week, and the Government Index, which decreased 3.3 percent to 110.5 from 114.3 the previous week.

The four week moving average for the seasonally-adjusted Market Index is up 0.4 percent to 578.2 from 575.7. The four week moving average is unchanged at 393.4 for the Purchase Index, while this average is up 1 percent to 1654.5 from 1637.4 for the Refinance Index.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 44.3 percent of total applications from 43.7 percent the previous week. This is the highest that the refinance share has been since September 2005. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 26.4 percent of total applications from 27 percent the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 6.18 percent from 6.36 percent, with points decreasing to 1.06 from 1.11 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. 

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 5.81 percent from 6.04 percent, with points increasing to 1.12 from 1.06 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. 

The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs decreased to 5.90 percent from 5.95 percent, with points increasing to 0.79 from 0.77 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The spread between the 30-year fixed rate and the one-year ARM rate is 28 basis points, the narrowest it has been since January 2001.

Source: MBA

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