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


Refis, Conventional Activity Lead Weekly Mortgage Market Index Lower

DALLAS -- (Dec. 17, 2012) With Christmas fast approaching, loan originators had rate locks on fewer loans last week. Refinance activity had the biggest effect on weekly activity, though conventional locks also significantly impacted the index.

The U.S. Mortgage Market Index from Mortgage Daily for the week ended Dec. 14 was 192.

An improvement to the data source has been made to the Mortgage Market Index. On Dec. 14, 2012, Optimal Blue LLC became the provider of the numbers for the index. Optimal Blue is a dominant product and pricing engine based in Plano, Texas. The new data are based on rate-locking activity by Optimal Blue clients for the seven days ended each Thursday at 11:59 p.m.

Optimal Blue's typical loan originator client works for an independent mortgage banker that table funds originations then sell the loans to aggregators like JPMorgan Chase & Co. or Wells Fargo & Co. or directly to the housing finance agencies.

A week earlier, the index -- using Optimal Blue's historical data -- was 256. The week-earlier Mortgage Market Index was originally reported at 201 using data from the previous provider.

A year earlier, the index was reported at 220.

Refinances took the biggest hit in the most recent report, tumbling 28 percent from the previous week based on Optimal Blue data. The refinance share was 54 percent, down from 56 percent seven days earlier. The latest week's share included a 43 percent rate-term share and an 11 percent cashout share.

The previous week' refinance share of 56 percent, using the Optimal Blue data, was far lower than the 77 percent share during the same week using the previous data source. Optimal Blue attributed this to its client base, which has a greater focus on purchase production.

Another possible factor is that the previous data source was based on pricing inquiries, and many pricing inquiries might be pulled on a refinance transaction before a rate lock is registered.

Conventional pricing locks had the next-biggest impact on overall business, declining 26 percent from the week ended Dec. 7.

Purchase transactions were down 22 percent for the week, while a 21 percent decline was recorded for rate locks on mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration. FHA share inched up to 18 percent from 17 percent in the prior week.

Adjustable-rate mortgage locks were off just 10 percent. ARM share, meanwhile, increased to 3.6 percent from 3.0 percent.

The latest week's best-performing category was jumbo business, with jumbo locks rising 3 percent from the prior week. Jumbo share climbed to 8.8 percent from 6.4 percent. Jumbo borrowers, those whose loan amounts exceed $417,000, paid 38 basis points more on their rates than their conforming counterparts, better than then 40-basis-point premium being charged in the prior report.

Conforming 30-year mortgages averaged 3.651 percent, a little higher than 3.613 percent a week earlier. The conforming rate was reported at 4.070 percent in the Mortgage Market Index for the week ended Dec. 16, 2011.

Borrowers on 15-year mortgages locked rates that were an average of 71 BPS better than on 30-year loans. The spread improved from 67 BPS last week, making the shorter term more attractive.

Full Mortgage Market Index Report

Week Ended Dec. 14, 2012

National Average Loan Amount $233,701

Rate-Term Refinance Share 43.30%
Cashout Refinance Share 10.61%
Total Refinance Share 53.91%

Purchase Share 46.09%

FHA Share 18.04%

ARM Share 3.64%

Jumbo Share 8.81%

Mortgage Market Index 191.635

Conforming 30-Year Fixed-Rate Average 3.651%
Conforming 15-Year Fixed-Rate Average 2.946%
Jumbo 30-Year Fixed-Rate Average 4.035%

Mortgage Market Index 192 for week ended Dec. 14

Historical data for the U.S. Mortgage Market Index is available at:

About Mortgage Daily
Founded in 1998 by 20-year mortgage industry veteran Sam Garcia, is a leading online source of mortgage news and mortgage statistics for the mortgage industry. In addition to the weekly Mortgage Market Index, Mortgage Daily also publishes the quarterly Mortgage Employment Index, Mortgage Litigation Index and Mortgage Fraud Index. The Dallas-based publication additionally provides a quarterly ranking of the biggest mortgage originators and mortgage servicers. Visit Mortgage Daily at

About Optimal Blue
Founded in 2002, Optimal Blue is a Web-based provider of managed-content, product eligibility and pricing engine (PPE) technology. Based in Plano, Texas, Optimal Blue has developed a comprehensive suite of products designed to give lenders the ability to automate the management and distribution of their products, pricing and secondary marketing activities, enabling originators to then source, manage, price, lock and sell loans in a way that is efficient, accurate and easy to use. Without having to be technology experts, Optimal Blue's solutions allow clients to leverage superior technology and content for a competitive advantage. For more information, please visit

Holly Himelright


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Affordable Refinance Program, H A R P 2.0 and other Making Home Affordable coverage.

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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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