The Real Deal Miami

U.S. mortgage purchase activity hits highest level of the year

March 09, 2011 03:03PM

U.S. mortgage application volume surged by 15.5 percent last week as interest rates hovered below 5 percent, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association through March 4. Applications for refinancing led the drive, with volume up 17.2 percent on a week-over-week basis, while applications for purchase rose 12.5 percent week-over-week to their highest level of the year, the MBA said today. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage saw its average contract interest rate rise to 4.93 percent, from 4.84 percent one week ago, though points decreased to 0.87 from 1.29 for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans. The contract rate for the 15-year mortgage remained steady at 4.17 percent, but points increased to 1.15 percent, from 1.07 percent during the week prior, for 80 percent LTV loans. “An improving job market is beginning to pave the way for
an improving housing market,” said Michael Fratantoni, vice president of research and economics for the MBA. TRD