Industry News

Home loan apps jump 32%

MBA index posts largest increase in 4 years

Mortgage application volume during the first week of January posted the sharpest rise in four years as borrowers jumped at falling interest rates, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today. The group's market composite index, a measure of home loan application volume, jumped 32.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis between Christmas week and the first week of 2008. The last time the index rose this sharply in a one-week period was in January 2004 with a 30.4 percent gain. By category, the index that tracks refinancings posted the strongest growth, rising 53.9 percent last week on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week before. The index tracking purchase loans grew 14.7 percent during the period. Inspiring borrowers to action was a large decline in interest rates. According to MBA, the average contract interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 5.73 percent last week from 6.05 percent one week earlier, and the average rate on 15-year fixed loans tum...