Mortgage applications climb, as rates hold steady

January 23, 2013 11:00AM

The number of mortgage applications for the week ending January 18, 2013 increased 7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week ending January 11, 2013, the Mortgage Bankers Association announced today.

The Refinance Index increased 8 percent from the previous week on a seasonally adjusted and unadjusted basis. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 13 percent from one week earlier to the highest level since April 2011. Unadjusted, the Purchase Index increased 3 percent to its highest level since May of 2010, immediately following the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit.

The share of refinancing activity remained constant at 82 percent of total applications. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity also held steady from last week at 4 percent of total applications.

Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans with conforming balances increased to 3.62 percent from 3.61 percent. However, jumbo loan rates decreased to 3.85 percent from 3.88 percent. Rates for Federal Housing Administration-backed 30-year fixed-rate loans increased to 3.40 percent from 3.39 percent — an effective decrease from last week — and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 2.87 percent from 2.88 percent — an effective increase. —Christopher Cameron