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New Activity Leaps as ARMs Explode

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New loan inquiries climbed 15 percent this week as adjustable-rate activity shot up 30 percent. Borrowers seeking shorter-term loans got a big boost.

At 243, the U.S. Mortgage Market Index from Mortech Inc. and MortgageDaily.com for the week ended June 10 improved from last week’s index of 212.

Helping drive the improvement in new business was adjustable-rate mortgage activity, which was up 30 percent from last Friday’s report. The share of new activity that was for ARMs climbed to 10.52 percent this week from 9.47 percent seven days earlier.

Refinance inquiries rose 17 percent, while refinance share climbed to 54 percent from last week’s 53 percent. The share reflected a rate-term refinance share of 41 percent and a 13 percent cashout refinance share.

Conventional business was up 16 percent, purchase activity climbed 12 percent and FHA inquiries were 7 percent higher.

Compared to a year earlier, overall business was off 11 percent.

Behind this week’s surge were slightly lower mortgage rates and the prior week’s holiday lull.

The average 30-year conforming fixed-rate mortgage was 4.645 percent this week, lower than 4.651 percent last week.

The improvement in conforming activity was matched by jumbo rate, with the jumbo 30-year easing to 5.160 percent from 5.170 percent. The spread between the conforming and jumbo 30-year mortgage was unchanged at 52 basis points.

The Mortgage Market Index report indicated that the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.820 percent, falling from 3.880 percent last week. The 15-year became a more attractive option this week, with the spread between the 15-year and 30-year mortgage widening to 83 BPS from the previous week’s 77 BPS.

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