Mortgage applications for the week ending Nov. 30 were up 22.5 percent from a week earlier, the Mortgage Bankers Association said today, as interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell below 6 percent and loan refinancings rose dramatically.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 5.82 percent, down from 6.09 percent the week before. That’s the rate for a loan with an 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio and an average of 1.07 points, including origination fees.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 5.38 percent, down from 5.69 percent the week before, with points decreasing to 1.12 from 1.13 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

The average contract interest rate for one-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) rose to 6.28 percent, up slightly from 6.24 percent the week before, with points increasing to 0.99 from 0.96 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

Falling interest rates were accompanied by a surge in applications, particularly refinances, the MBA reported in its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

The market composite index, a measure of all mortgage loan application volume, was 791.8, an increase of 22.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. On an unadjusted basis, the index was up 24.2 percent compared to the same week a year ago.

The seasonally adjusted refinance index, which measures applications for refinance loans, increased 31.9 percent from a week earlier, to 2761.3, outstripping a 15.2 percent increase in the purchase index, which rose to 464.3.   

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 56.0 percent of total applications from 51.4 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 11.6 from 14.6 percent of total applications from the previous week.

The seasonally adjusted conventional index increased 21.9 percent from the previous week to 1138.4, and the seasonally adjusted government index increased 27.8 percent to 214.0.

The MBA also issued revised numbers for the week ending Nov. 23, saying an error by one reporting company inflated the purchase index reported Nov. 28 while underreporting loan refinancings.  

The refinance index was 2093.0 rather than the 1862.9 originally reported and the seasonally adjusted purchase index was 403.2 rather than the 450.1 originally reported. The seasonally adjusted market composite index for the week ending Nov. 23 was 646.3 rather than the 652.5 originally reported.

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