MBA App Survey Finds Volume Declines Even Though Rates Fall


Even though rates on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined during the survey week, so did loan application volume as the Mortgage Bankers Association reported a 4.7% decline on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ended Aug. 9.

Purchase application volume fell by 5% seasonally adjusted compared with the previous week. On an unadjusted basis, it is 4% higher for the same week in 2012. The government product share of purchase apps was 29%, well below the long term average of the series at 38%, MBA said.

The Refinance Index decreased by 4%. The share of refi apps remained at 63%. The Home Affordable Refinance Program share fell to 35% from 36% one week ago.

“Mortgage rates have been holding fairly flat for the last four weeks now, which is not a bad thing given the strong upward moves of the spring and early summer,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of “Such pauses have value, as they allow potential homebuyers a chance to catch up and decide how best to proceed.”

HSH.coms weekly mortgage radar found rates for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell by four basis points during the week ended Tuesday, to 4.49%.

Gumbinger added rates are likely to hold steady in the near term as investors look for clarity. Given the mixed nature of the economic news lately, clarity may not come and the road ahead may be murky for some time.”

Zillow Mortgage Marketplaces rate tracker finds the 30-year fixed mortgage rate rising over the past week by three basis points to 4.31% as of Tuesday afternoon.

Echoing Gumbinger, Erin Lantz, director of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, said, This week, although we expect continued volatility, we expect rates will remain fairly steady until a clearer picture emerges about the strength of the U.S. economic recovery.

According to the MBA application survey, the average contract rate for the 30-year conforming FRM (MBA defines this as a loan with a balance of $417,500 or under) for the survey period is 4.56%, down five basis points from the previous week. Federal Housing Administration-insured loans had an average contract rate for the week of 4.25%, down eight basis points from the previous week.

Jumbo 30-year FRMs saw the average contract rate fall by seven basis points to 4.57%. The MBA said the rate for the 15-year FRM decreased by six basis points to 3.60%.

The share of adjustable-rate mortgages was 6% of the weeks loan applications and the average contract rate for the 5/1 ARM dropped by three basis points to 3.36%.

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