Hoping to take advantage of mortgage records showing continuously steady rates, American consumers may have more fervently pursued obtaining a home loan last week, as mortgage applications rose nationwide.
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 19, small increases in consumer activity led to the third consecutive week heightened application figures have been observed. The Market Composite Index, which measures mortgage loan application volume, improved 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the preceding week's reading. The index ticked up 1 percent week-over-week on an unadjusted basis.
The organization's seasonally adjusted Purchase Index reportedly moved up 0.3 percent from amounts recorded the previous week, marking the highest level exhibited since May 2010. The unadjusted index hiked 1 percent last week, registering at a reading 18 percent higher than that noted during the same period in April 2012.
MBA reported its Refinance Index increased 0.3 percent week-over-week recently, although the refinance share of mortgage activity showed no change from the previous week, remaining at 75 percent of total applications. The Home Affordable Refinance Program share of refinance applications improved by 1 percent on a weekly basis, moving up from 31 to 32 percent last week week. This amount represents the highest level seen since MBA first began tracking HARP applications back in February 2012.
Fixed-rate mortgage products show contract interest rate decreases
Providing a possible explanation for both consumers' and lending companies' increased sense of safety and soundness in homeownership last week were 30-year and 15-year FRM average contract interest rates, which both exhibited notable declines recently.
The average contract interest rate for a 30-year FRM with a conforming balance of $417,500 or less showed a small decline from 3.67 percent to 3.65 percent. Meanwhile, 15-year FRM contract interest rate averages were seen slipping from 2.91 percent to 2.89 percent.
New-home sales see considerable monthly, yearly rises during March
As a growing number of consumers may be feeling more confident with their personal finances, many may have capitalized on low mortgage rates and pursued the purchase of a newly-built home last month.
A joint report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development outlined a month-over-month increase in new-home sales seen during March, as recently constructed single-family units are estimated to have sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000, 1.5 percent more than the 411,000 exhibited in February. This figure also showed improvement of 18.5 percent on a year-over-year basis, as March 2012 saw the sale of just 352,000 new-homes.