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Business Slows in Super Bowl Week

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Hurt by weakened refinance activity, fewer mortgage inquiries were made during Super Bowl week. But refinance inquiries were well above the level a year ago. Purchase activity slipped from last week and was off more than a third from a year earlier.

Overall mortgage activity was down 11 percent from last week, according to the U.S. Mortgage Market Index from Mortech Inc. and Mortgage Daily for the week ended Feb. 10. The index landed at 240, which was around 18 percent higher than the same week in 2011.

Refinances put in the worst week-over-week performance of any category, with new refinance inquiries down 14 percent. But refinance business was up 85 percent from a year prior.

Refinance share slipped to 71 percent from 73 percent but was higher than the 45 percent share in the week ended Feb. 11, 2011. This week’s rate-term share was 58 percent, while the cashout share was 14 percent.

Purchase financing fell 4 percent from a week earlier and 37 percent from a year earlier.

Inquiries for adjustable-rate mortgages were off 8 percent from last week. But ARM share climbed to 4.75 percent from 4.31 percent.

The number of inquiries for loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration drifted slightly lower, though FHA share climbed to 12.35 percent from the previous week’s 11.22 percent.

Conventional mortgage inquiries were down 13 percent this week.

The premium for a jumbo mortgage eased to 61 basis points this week from 62 BPS the prior week and 66 BPS a year prior. The tighter spread helped push jumbo share up to 8.99 percent from 8.90 percent, though jumbo loan inquiries fell 8 percent.

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage inched up to 4.02 percent from 3.97 percent in the prior report. The conforming 30 year was 5.19 percent during the same week last year.

Inquiries for conforming 15-year loans were priced 71 BPS better than 30-year loans, losing some of last week’s 74-basis-point advantage. The spread was 76 BPS a year ago.

Mortgage rates might be around 3 BPS better in next week Mortgage Market Index report. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note averaged 1.99 percent this week, while it closed at 1.96 percent Friday, according to the Department of the Treasury.

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