Mortgage applications leap as rates fall

March 06, 2013 10:30AM

The number of mortgage applications for the week ending March 6, 2013  increased 14.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, the Mortgage Bankers Association announced today. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 15 percent compared with the previous week.

The Refinance Index increased 15 percent from the previous week to its highest level since mid-January. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 15 percent from one week earlier.  And unadjusted, the Purchase Index increased 18 percent compared with the previous week and was 17 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity held at 77 percent of total applications. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity also held at 4 percent of total applications.

Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans with conforming balances, decreased to 3.70 percent from 3.77 percent. Interest rates for jumbo loans also decreased to 3.80 percent from 3.93 percent. Rates for Federal Housing Administration-backed 30-year fixed-rate loans decreased to 3.47 percent from 3.54 percent and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 2.96 percent from 3.03 percent, the lowest contract rate since the week ending January 25, 2013. —Christopher Cameron