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Refi Business Rises

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While overall mortgage activity was little changed this week, there was a little bump in refinance activity. Mortgage rates moved lower.

A less than 1 percent decline from seven days prior left the U.S. Mortgage Market Index from LoanSifter and Mortgage Daily for the week ended Sept. 27 at 199. The index fell 38 percent from the same week last year.

The week’s biggest drop was with Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages; the average LoanSifter user pulled just over 4 percent fewer FHA pricing inquiries than in the week ended Sept. 20. FHA activity was down 40 percent from the index as of a year earlier, which was revised to reflect the same data provider.

FHA share was 14.7 percent, lower than the previous week’s 15.2 percent and the year-earlier share of 15.0 percent.

Next was the adjustable-rate mortgage category, falling 4 percent from the previous week. However, ARM business has soared more than three-quarters from this week in 2012. ARM share slipped to 10.6 percent from 11.0 percent but has nearly tripled from 3.7 percent on year ago.

After that were inquiries for purchase financing, which fell just under 4 percent from last week. But purchase activity increased 40 percent from the week ended Sept. 28, 2012.

A 2 percent decline was recorded for jumbo inquiries, though jumbo activity was up more than a quarter from one year prior. Jumbo share was little changed from the prior report at 8.3 percent but has more than doubled from 4.0 percent a year ago.

Interest rates on jumbo mortgages were 31 basis points higher than conforming rates, worse than last week’s 25 BPS but far better than 54 BPS 12 months prior.

Conventional business slipped less than a percent for the week and was 44 percent worse then a year ago.

Refinance was the only category to show a week-over-week gain, rising 2 percent. But refinances slid 60 percent from this week last year.

Refinance share inched up to 50.7 percent from 49.2 percent but has tumbled from 78.3 percent 12 months prior. This week’s share consisted of a 36.3 percent rate-term share and a 14.4 percent cashout share.

Thirty-year conforming fixed rates fell to 4.577 percent from last week’s 4.718 percent but stand much higher than the 3.558 percent in place one year prior.

Fifteen-year loans were priced at a 92-basis-point discount to 30-year loans, not as good as the previous week’s 95-basis-point discount but better than 57 BPS in the same week in 2012.

Mortgage rates aren’t likely to be whole lot different in the next Mortgage Market Index report based on an analysis of this week’s Treasury market activity.

According to data reported by the Treasury Department, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note averaged 2.66 percent during the week covered in the Mortgage Market Index, while the 10-year yield closed at 2.64 percent Friday.

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