U.S. mortgage applications up 7.8% last week

14:02, May 19, 2011      

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The U.S. mortgage applications continued to rise last week, according to the latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey released Wednesday by the U.S. Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

The MBA said that the Market Composite Index of U.S. mortgage applications, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 7.8 percent in the week ending May 13, 2011, on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week.

The seasonally adjusted Refinance Index rose 13.2 percent and is at its highest level since the week ending December 10, 2010. However, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index dipped 3.2 percent.

The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index increased 3.6 percent. The four week moving average was up 7.2 percent for the seasonally adjusted Refinance Index, while this average dropped 2.9 percent for the Purchase Index, according to the survey.

The MBA said the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages last week decreased to 4.60 percent from 4.67 percent, and the average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages was down to 3.75 percent from 3.81 percent.

"The 30-year fixed mortgage rate is now 53 basis points below its 2011 peak, and has decreased for five straight week," said Michael Fratantoni, MBA's Vice President of Research. "Over this five week span, the refinance index has increased by about 33 percent."

The survey covers over 50 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts.

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