WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. mortgage activity jumped in the week ending Friday, partly because activity the previous week was suppressed due to Hurricane Sandy.
With the numbers skewed in the previous week, the volume of mortgage applications jumped 12.6 percent in the week, while refinancing activity rose 13 percent, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.
"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, vice president of research and economics at the Mortgage Bankers Association, said in a statement.
Application activity, previously down 60 percent, in New Jersey "more than doubled," in the most recent week. Volume in New York and Connecticut rose more than 60 percent in the week, the MBA said.
In the week that ended Friday, interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rate conforming mortgages fell from 3.61 percent to 3.52 percent with points falling from 0.45 to 0.41. The beat the previous record low for fixed-rate, 30-year loans, which had been 3.53 percent.
The average interest rate for 30-year contracts on jumbo loans -- those larger than $417,500 -- fell from 3.88 percent to 3.83 percent with points rising from 0.36 to 0.41.
Interest rates for 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages fell from 2.95 percent to 2.88. Points for 15-year, fixed-rate contracts fell from 0.4 to 0.37.
The average rate for 30-year loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration fell from 3.37 percent to 3.34 percent with points rising from 0.75 to 0.78. Average rate for short-term, adjustable-rate mortgages fell from 2.61 percent to 2.6 percent in the week with points decreasing from 0.41 to 0.3, the MBA said.