Weekly Mortgage Applications Edge Up

Mortgage applications were up in two weekly surveys. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) weekly index of gross mortgage applications was up 3.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending May 7 compared to one week ago. The Mortgage Maxx index that’s adjusted to reflect the number of households that applied for a mortgage increased 1.6% for the same time period. “The recent plunge in rates on US Treasury securities, due to a flight to quality as investors worldwide sought shelter from the Greek debt crisis, benefitted [sic] US mortgage borrowers last week. Rates on 30-year mortgages dropped to their lowest level since mid-March,” said Michael Fratantoni, vice president of research and economics at the MBA. Fratantoni added: “As a result, refinance applications for conventional loans jumped, hitting their highest level in six weeks.” The MBA refinance index increased 14.8% and the seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased 9.5% from the previous week. Unadjusted, the purchase index decreased 8.9% from last week and was down 0.6% from the same week one year ago. Refinance mortgages took a 57.7% share of total application volume, the MBA said, up from 51.9% last week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity remained unchanged at 6.3% of all applications. Write to Austin Kilgore.

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