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Economy in Brief

U.S. Mortgage Applications Jump
by Tom Moeller  June 13, 2012

The Mortgage Bankers Association index of total mortgage applications surged 18.0% (62.4% y/y) last week to the highest level since early-2009. Applications to refinance jumped 19.2% (85.0% y/y) while home purchase applications increased 12.8% (7.6% y/y). Applications for fixed interest rate loans rose w/w and were up nearly two-thirds y/y while variable rate loans rose by one-third (34.1% y/y).

The effective rate on fixed-interest, conventional 15-year mortgages held roughly steady w/w at a low of 3.35% and was down from the 4.50% high in February of last year. The effective rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan also held at 4.00%. On a 30-year Jumbo loan the effective rate was 4.24%. Though it's narrowed slightly of late, the spread between 15- and 30-year loan rates continued wide by historical standards. The effective interest rate on an adjustable 5-year mortgage was 2.96% and remained down from its 3.93% high during February of last year.

The Mortgage Bankers Association surveys between 20 to 35 of the top lenders in the U.S. housing industry to derive its refinance, purchase and market indexes. The weekly survey covers roughly 50% of all U.S. residential mortgage applications processed each week by mortgage banks, commercial banks and thrifts. The figures for weekly mortgage applications are available in Haver's SURVEYW database.

MBA Mortgage Applications (SA, 3/16/90=100) 06/08/12 06/01/12 05/25/12 Y/Y % 2011 2010 2009
Total Market Index 949.4 804.8 794.7 62.4 572.3 659.3 736.4
 Purchase 205.6 182.2 185.6 7.6 182.6 199.8 263.5
 Refinancing 5,334.3 4,476.2 4,388.8 85.0 2,858.4 3,348.1 3,509.2
15-Year Mortgage Effective Interest Rate (%) 3.35 3.32 3.33 3.94
3.97 4.39 4.85
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