Weekly Mortgage Applications on the Upswing

Mortgage applications trended upward in two weekly surveys, reversing last week’s dip in application activity. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) found that applications for purchase mortgages rose 7.3% in the week ending June 11 — the first increase in six weeks. At the same time, applications for refinance mortgages jumped 21.1% to the highest level recorded in more than a year, since May 2009. The refinance share of application activity reached 74.8%, from 72.2% the week before. With purchase and refinance requests taken together, total mortgage applications rose 17.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis, MBA said. “Mortgage applications for home purchases increased last week, the first increase in over a month,” said MBA vice president of research and economics Michael Fratantoni, in a press statement. “While it is clear that purchase applications in May dropped sharply as a result of the tax credit induced increase in applications in April, it is unclear whether we are seeing the beginnings of a rebound now.” The Mortgage Maxx index, which adjusts data to reflect the number of households applying for a mortgage, found 2.8% more households submitted applications than the week before. Maxx publisher Paul Descloux, in weekly commentary, noted the index could decline in coming weeks following the homebuyer tax credit expiration. “As completed purchases catalyzed by the federal tax incentive fade over the coming weeks, further deterioration in that number may be in the offing,” he said. Write to Diana Golobay.

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