The mortgage market was mixed over the holidays, with the Mortgage Bankers Association's Market Composite Index down 3.9% sequentially during Christmas week and up 2.3% during New Year's week, the group said Wednesday.
That, however, was including an adjustment to account for the Christmas and New Year's Day holidays. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 23.7% the week before Christmas and 10.0% the week after.
For the week ending Dec. 24, the Refinance Index decreased 7.2% from the previous week, but the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 3.1%. The following week, the Refinance Index increased 3.9% and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 0.8%. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 18.1% the week before Christmas and decreased 12.2% the week following. This measure was 12.1% higher and 6.1% lower, respectively, than the same period a year ago.
The refinance share of mortgage activity for the week ending Dec. 31 was 71%, up from 70.3% for the week ending Dec. 24.
For the week ending Dec. 24, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.93% from 4.84%, with points decreasing to 0.63 from 0.96 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value (LTV) loans. For the week ending Dec. 31, the rate decreased to 4.82% with points increasing to 1.11.
For the week ending Dec. 24, the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages remained unchanged at 4.22%, with points increasing to 1.34 from 1.19. For the week ending Dec. 31, the rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.23% with points decreasing to 1.00.
David Goldberg, home building analyst at UBS, said in a reseach note, "The index is above its recent (7/10) low, in line with anecdotal evidence that home sales have improved over the same time. That said, we expect volatility in the index through the spring selling season as our most recent channel checks leave us fearful that an absence of buyers that have the requisite down payment and credit stats might limit any potential bounce."