PhotoAfter posting their first decline in four weeks last week, mortgage applications are headed higher.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports applications were up 2.3% for the week ending February 3, with the Refinance Index rising 2.0%. As a share of overall applications, refinancings fell to 47.9% -- the lowest level since June 2009.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 6.9% of total applications; the FHA share dipped to 11.9% from 12.1% the week before; the VA share rose to 12.7% from 12.4%; and the USDA share was unchanged at 0.9%.

Contract interest rates

  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) with conforming loan balances ($424,000 or less) was down four basis points -- to 4.35% from 4.39% -- with points unchanged at 0.34 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year FRMs with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,000) dropped from 4.32% to 4.27%, with points decreasing to 0.31 from 0.34 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year FRMs backed by the FHA slipped one basis point to 4.16%, with points increasing to 0.37 from 0.35 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year FRMs fell to 3.55% from 3.61%, with points increasing to 0.34 from 0.33 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs rose six basis points to 3.39%, with points decreasing to 0.18 from 0.22 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The survey covers over 75% of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications.


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