Mortgage Application Volume Surges
as Rates Fall
Mortgage application volume was up 28.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted
basis for the week ending January 11, the Mortgage Bankers Association
906.4, up from 706.0 a week earlier, its highest point since April 2, 2004.
The MBA’s seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications struck
On an unadjusted basis, application volume was up 64.8 percent from the
prior week, one shortened by the New Year’s holiday, and up 39 percent
from the same week a year ago.
The refinance share of mortgage activity climbed to 62.7 percent of total
applications, up from 57.7 percent the previous week, while the adjustable-
rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity fell minimally to 9.2 from 9.3
percent of total applications from the previous week.
Interest rates continue to fall across the board, with the traditional 30-year
fixed mortgage dipping to 5.62 percent from 5.73 a week earlier.
That’s the lowest point since the week ended July 1, 2005, when rates stood
at 5.58 percent, and significantly lower than the 6.19 percent average rate a
The 15-year fell to 5.07 percent, down from 5.21 percent, and the one-year
ARM decreased to 5.77 percent from 6.04 percent.
“When consumers see an opportunity, no matter how pessimistic they might
be, they take it,” said Doug Duncan, the MBA’s chief economist. “It will
improve the underlying state of the industry and the longer rates stay down,
the more people will take advantage of the opportunity, so that is a good thing.”
The MBA’s weekly survey, compiled every week since 1990, covers about
half of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications.
Despite the generally positive numbers, it should be noted that the index only
covers retail originations, which surely have increased as a result of wholesale’s
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