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Purchases, Jumbos Improve

Mortgage News

Purchase financing activity led a small increase in loan inquiries this week, while the premium for a jumbo mortgage was lower. Mortgage business, however stands well below a year ago when rates were even lower than they were this week.

Mortgage pricing inquiries were 3 percent stronger this week than last week based on the U.S. Mortgage Market Index from Mortech Inc. and MortgageDaily.com. The index for the week ended Oct. 21 rose to 263 from 255 in last Friday’s report.

Inquiries for home purchases were 4 percent higher, the most of any category.

Refinances rose 2 percent, while the refinance share slipped to just below 65 percent from just above 65 percent in the report for the week ended Oct. 14. This week’s refinance share reflected a 50 percent rate-term share and a 15 percent cashout share.

Conventional loan inquiries were up 4 percent, but there was no change in FHA activity. FHA share inched down to 10.81 percent from 10.94 percent.

Inquiries for adjustable-rate mortgages came in at the same level as last week, and ARM share slipped to 5.79 percent from 5.89 percent.

Compared to the same week in 2010, overall activity has fallen 19 percent. Purchase inquiries were down nearly a quarter, while refinance volume fell 16 percent.

Mortgage rates eased this week, with the average 30-year conforming loan at 4.33 percent versus 4.35 percent last Friday. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was lower at 4.169 percent a year ago.

The rate on 15-year loans was discounted 70 basis points over the 30-year rate this week, making it more attractive compared to last week when the spread was 65 BPS.

Jumbo borrowers paid a 64-basis-point premium over conforming borrowers this week, though that was lower than 67 BPS last week and 90 BPS a year ago.

Mortgage rates aren’t likely to be a whole lot different in the next Mortgage Market Index report based on the 10-year Treasury note yield. The Department of the Treasury reported that the 10-year yield fell to 2.23 percent today from 2.26 percent last week.

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