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


Weekly Mortgage Market Index Tumbles During Holidays

DALLAS -- (Dec. 31, 2012) With the holiday season in full swing, loan originators did very little business last week. Leading a big weekly decline were jumbo and adjustable-rate mortgages.

A 48 percent drop from the prior week left the U.S. Mortgage Market Index from Optimal Blue and Mortgage Daily for the week ended Friday at just 88. Activity reflects the average volume of rate locks registered by originator clients of Optimal Blue.

It was the lowest level of activity since the week ended Jan. 6, when the index was a revised 84. During the same week last year, the index was 131 -- though the year-earlier data was based on pricing inquiries rather than rate locks.

The latest week's biggest decline was with rate locks for ARMs, which sank 63 percent from the week ended Dec. 21. ARM activity was down 69 percent from the same week last year. ARM share was cut to 2.5 percent from 3.5 percent the prior week and 5.1 percent during the same week in the prior year.

The second-worst performing category was jumbo, with activity falling 62 percent from a week earlier. At the same time, jumbo share of overall business fell to 5.8 percent from 7.9 percent seven days earlier. The slimmer share came despite a decrease in the premium for jumbo mortgages to 31 basis points from the 34-basis-point jumbo-conforming spread in the prior report.

Next were rate locks for mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, which were down by more than half for the week. FHA business, however, grew 6 percent from the week ended Dec. 30, 2011, based on using pricing inquiries for the year-earlier period. FHA share slipped to 18.1 percent from the previous week's 19.4 percent.

Refinance rate locks followed, tumbling 49 percent from the previous week and a year earlier. Refinance share fell to 51 percent from 52 percent in the last report. The most recent week's share was comprised of a 40 percent rate-term share and a 10 percent cashout share.

Conventional business was off 47.4 percent from the prior week and 38.1 percent lower than the same week last year.

The least-bad performing category was purchase financing, with locks falling 47.2 percent from the last report. Purchase activity, however, was off just 2.2 percent from a year earlier.

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage improved to 3.666 percent from 3.683 percent in the last Mortgage Market Index report. One year previous, the 30 year averaged 4.089 percent.

The discount for a 15-year mortgage was just under 72 BPS, slipping from just over 72 BPS a week prior.

Full Mortgage Market Index Report

Week Ended Dec. 28, 2012

National Average Loan Amount $226,365

Rate-Term Refinance Share 40.48%
Cashout Refinance Share 10.39%
Total Refinance Share 50.87%

Purchase Share 49.13%

FHA Share 18.08%

ARM Share 2.49%

Jumbo Share 5.77%

Mortgage Market Index 87.610

Conforming 30-Year Fixed-Rate Average 3.666%
Conforming 15-Year Fixed-Rate Average 2.950%
Jumbo 30-Year Fixed-Rate Average 3.980%

Mortgage Market Index 88 for week ended Dec. 28

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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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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