Mortgage rates fall, applications climb post-Sandy

The number of mortgage applications increased 12.6 percent during the week ending November 9 on a seasonally adjusted basis and 12 percent on an unadjusted basis, the Mortgage Bankers Association announced today. Application rates were likely impacted by the rebound following  Hurricane Sandy, according to the association.

The Refinance Index increased 13 percent — ending its five-week decline. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index also grew 11 percent from one week earlier and unadjusted, the Purchase Index rose 8 percent from last week, and was 22 percent higher year-over-year.The share of refinancing activity climbed to 81 percent of total applications. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity stayed at 4 percent of applications.

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“Following the decrease in applications two weeks ago due to the effects of Superstorm Sandy, mortgage applications in many East Coast states rebounded strongly this week,” Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics, said.  “Application volume in New Jersey more than doubled over the week, while volume in Connecticut and New York increased more than 60 percent. In addition to the rebound in the states impacted by the storm, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate reached a new record low in the survey.”

Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans with conforming balances fell to 3.52 percent from 3.61 percent. Jumbo loan rates also decreased to 3.83 percent from 3.88 percent. Rates for Federal Housing Administration-backed 30-year fixed-rate loans fell to 3.34 percent from 3.37 percent and 15-year fixed-rate loan rates decreased to 2.88 percent from 2.95 percent. —Christopher Cameron