WASHINGTON, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Superstorm Sandy, which ravaged the East Coast, slowed mortgage application activity considerably last week, a banking group said Wednesday.
"Last week's storm had a significant impact on application volumes on the East Coast," said Mike Fratantoni, vice president of research and economics at the Mortgage Bankers Association.
"Applications fell more than 60 percent compared to the prior week in New Jersey and almost 50 percent in New York and nearly 40 percent in Connecticut," he said in a statement.
Across the country, mortgage activity and refinancing activity both fell 5 percent, with refinancing numbers down for the fifth consecutive week, the MBA said.
In the week that ended Friday, interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rate conforming mortgages fell from 3.65 percent to 3.61 percent with points rising from 0.39 to 0.45.
The average interest rate for 30-year contracts on jumbo loans -- those larger than $417,500 -- fell from 3.94 percent to 3.88 percent with points unchanged at 0.36.
Interest rates for 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages held steady at 2.95 percent. Points for 15-year, fixed-rate contracts fell from 0.35 to 0.4.
The average rate for 30-year loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration fell from 3.41 percent to 3.37 percent with points falling from 0.76 to 0.75. Average rate for short-term, adjustable-rate mortgages fell from 2.66 percent to 2.61 percent in the week with points increasing from 0.33 to 0.41, the MBA said.