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Mortgage Market Index
A barometer of upcoming originations, the Mortgage Market Index includes data on jumbo, FHA and refinance activity.

Purchase Financing Defies Overall Weekly Slump

Mortgage Market Index 256 for week ended May 17

May 17, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

Although overall new mortgage activity was slower this week, purchase financing was up, albeit only slightly. Adjustable-rate mortgage activity also ticked higher.

A 7 percent decrease from last week left the U.S. Mortgage Market Index from LoanSifter and Mortgage Daily for the week ended May 17 at 256. The index, which is based on average pricing inquiries per LoanSifter user, was up 9 percent from the same week in 2012.

The year-earlier data was revised to reflect a change in data providers earlier this year.

Refinances had the biggest impact on week-over-week activity, falling 11 percent. Compared to a year earlier, however, refinances were up 9 percent.

Two-thirds of this week's business was refinance, slipping from 68.6 percent in the week ended May 10 and 68.1 percent 12 months prior. The latest share reflected a 52.4 percent rate-term share and a 13.6 percent cashout share.

Also pulling down activity were conventional mortgages, with conventional pricing inquiries sliding 9 percent lower. Conventional business was up 9 percent from the week ended May 25, 2012.

Pricing inquiries for jumbo mortgages also took a toll on new activity, falling 7 percent from last week but up 11 percent from the same week last year.

The week-over-week decline in jumbo business came despite that the premium for a jumbo loan fell to 26 basis points from the previous week's jumbo-conforming spread of 31 BPS. A year ago, jumbo rates were priced 45 BPS higher than conforming loans.

Jumbo share was 5.6 percent versus 5.5 percent in the previous report and 5.4 percent during the same week in 2012.

Inquiries for loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration slipped less than a percent over the past seven days and have fallen 8 percent over the last 12 months. FHA share rose to 14.8 percent from 13.7 percent in the previous report.

Financing for homebuyers maintained its pace from last week, up less than a percent. Purchase financing was up 7 percent from this week last year.

The best week-over-week performance was turned in by the ARM category, rising 4 percent. But ARM activity has plummeted by nearly half from a year ago. ARM share dipped to 4.7 percent from 4.2 percent and was 8.9 percent in the year-earlier week.

Overall new inquiries fell as rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 3.832 percent from 3.728 percent in the previous report. But the 30 year was still lower than 3.964 percent at the same point in 2012.

A one-basis-point increase from last week in the spread between 15- and 30-year mortgages left the difference at 78 BPS. The spread was 73 BPS one year prior.

A Mortgage Daily analysis of Treasury market activity this week suggests that 30-year mortgage rates likely won't be much different in next week's Mortgage Market Index report.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, a benchmark for mortgage rates, averaged 1.93 percent this week, while the yield closed at 1.95 percent Friday, according to data reported by the Department of the Treasury.

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Full Mortgage Market Index Report

Week Ended May 17, 2013

National Average Loan Amount $287,595

Rate-Term Refinance Share 52.45%
Cashout Refinance Share 13.56%
Total Refinance Share 66.01%

Purchase Share 33.99%

FHA Share 14.75%

ARM Share 4.70%

Jumbo Share 5.58%

Mortgage Market Index 255.901

Conforming 30-Year Fixed-Rate Average 3.832%
Conforming 15-Year Fixed-Rate Average 3.052%
Jumbo 30-Year Fixed-Rate Average 4.095%

Mortgage Market Index 256 for week ended May 17

back to main Mortgage Market Index page

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About the Mortgage Market Index
The U.S. Mortgage Market Index was first launched in December 2009 at 197.

The index, itself, reflects the average number of per-user rate locks by clients of OpenClose for the seven days ended each Thursday at midnight. OpenClose has been the data provider since June 2015.

The MMI is an excellent indicator of upcoming mortgage originations.

A byproduct of the Mortgage Market Index is a full report each week that includes the latest share by loan type, the jumbo-conforming spread and details about refinance and government activity -- as well as other important mortgage data.

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