New Year Brings Jump in Mortgage Aps


Mortgage demand jumped last week, with applications for both refinancing and home purchases showing strong increases in the first full week after the holidays.

Applications to refinance an existing mortgage were up a seasonally adjusted 15 percent compared to the previous week, while applications for mortgages to buy a home were up 13 percent, 5 percent better than the same week one year ago. That's according to the weekly rate survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association, released today.

In unadjusted terms, applications of all types were up 45 percent for the week. Refinancing made up 82 percent of all mortgage applications, unchanged from the week before.

Rates jump on jumbo loans

Interest rates for most types of mortgages held fairly steady, although a sharp increase was seen in average rates for jumbo mortgages (balances in excess of $417,500). The average rate on 30-year jumbo loans was 3.88 percent last week, up from 3.78 percent, with an average of 0.38 points in fees and discounts, unchanged from the week before.

Interest rates both 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming balances remained unchanged for the week, although fees and points declined on both. Average interest rates on the two loan types stayed at 3.61 percent and 2.88 percent, respectively. Average fees and discounts on the 30-year loan were down slightly to 0.38 points, down from 0.41 the week before, while 15-year loans saw a more substantial decline to 0.27 points, down from 0.39 the previous week.

Average interest rates on 30-year FHA fixed-rate mortgages rose to 3.39 percent, up from 3.35 percent previously, while fees and discounts dropped to 0.58 points, down from 0.69 previously. The overall impact meant the effective rate increased slightly.

Initial interest rates on 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) rose to 2.66 percent last week, up from 2.64 percent, while the average points paid fell to 0.34 from 037, with the overall result an increase in the effective rate.

All figures are based on mortgages with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio.

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This article appears in: Personal Finance , Banking and Loans

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