Sandy pushes mortgage applications, rates down

November 07, 2012 10:30AM

Mortgage applications decreased 5 percent during the week ending November 2, both on a seasonally adjusted and unadjusted basis, the Mortgage Bankers Association announced today. Application rates were likely impacted by the affects of hurricane Sandy, according to the Association.

The Refinance Index also decreased 5 percent — its fifth straight week of decline and it has now reached its lowest level since the end of August. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index also fell 5 percent from one week earlier and unadjusted, the Purchase Index fell 7 percent from last week, and was 3 percent higher year-over-year.The share of refinancing activity held at 80 percent of total applications. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity also stayed at 4 percent of applications.

“Last week’s storm had a significant impact on application volumes on the East Coast,” Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics, said in a statement.  “Applications fell more than 60 percent compared to the prior week in New Jersey, almost 50 percent in New York and nearly 40 percent in Connecticut.  Other East Coast states also saw declines over the week, while many states in other parts of the country had increases in application volumes.”

Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans with conforming balances fell to 3.61 percent from 3.65 percent. Jumbo loans also fell to 3.88 percent from 3.94 percent. Rates for Federal Housing Administration-backed 30-year fixed-rate loans fell to 3.37 percent from 3.41 percent and 15-year fixed-rate loan rates remained at 2.95 percent. —Christopher Cameron