Mortgage applications inch upwards nationwide

September 21, 2011 09:52AM

Mortgage applications increased 0.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis nationwide for the week ending Sept. 16, according to weekly data from the Mortgage Bankers Association released today. It’s the second consecutive week of application gains. Without adjustments, application activity jumped 25.2 percent week-over-week, in part because the prior week included the Labor Day holiday.

Refinancings also increased for the second straight week by 2.2 percent from the previous week, on an unadjusted basis. That index is not seasonally adjusted.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 78.3 percent of total applications from 76.8 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity decreased to 6.7 percent of total applications, from 7.3 percent the prior week.

Meanwhile, mortgage rates continued to sink lower. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with comforming loan balances (less than $417,500 under a new law) was unchanged at 4.29 percent, while jumbo loans decreased to 4.55 percent from 4.57 percent. For FHA-backed 30-year fixed-rate mortgages the average rate declined one-hundredth of a percentage point to 4.07 percent. The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.46 percent from 3.52 percent.

The numbers are slightly different as the MBA has begun to use an enhanced sample that captures more than 75 percent of direct channel mortgage applications, compared to 50 percent previously.— Adam Fusfeld