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Mortgage application activity slows down in week

Feb. 26, 2014 at 10:51 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. mortgage activity dropped in the week ending Friday, contrary to expectations, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.

The MBA said mortgage activity dropped 8.5 percent while refinancing decreased by 11 percent in the week. However, bankers are expecting mortgage activity to pick up, said MBA Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni.

"Purchase applications were little changed on an unadjusted basis last week, but this is the time of year we would expect a significant pick up in purchase activity, and we are not seeing it," he said in a statement.

The trade group said the average rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgages not backed by the Federal Housing Authority rose from 4.5 percent to 4.53 percent, with points rising from 0.26 to 0.31.

For similar loans backed by the FHA, interest rates rose from 4.16 percent to 4.17 percent, with points rising from 0.14 to 0.2.

For jumbo loans of $417,000 or more, average interest rates rose from 4.45 percent to 4.47 percent, with points rising from 0.11 to 0.13.

Average rates for 15-year, fixed-rate contracts rose from 3.55 percent to 3.56 percent with points on those loans falling from 0.33 to 0.28, the MBA said.

Average rates for short-term loans with adjustable rates decreased from 3.2 percent to 3.17 percent. Points for short-term loans fell from 0.38 to 0.31, the association said.

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