WASHINGTON (12/11/14)--Mortgage application activity ramped up for the week ending Dec. 5, as the Mortgage Bankers Association's mortgage application survey index jumped 7.3% (Economy.com Dec. 10).
The gain was driven by refinance applications, which surged by 13.2% for the week after falling by nearly that same number the week prior. Refinances made up 63.9% of all applications for the week.
Purchase activity, meanwhile, continues to climb, with that index climbing 1.3%--its second straight week of improvement. On a four-week moving average basis, purchase applications have risen 10.3%.
As purchase applications fall 6.8% below their year-ago levels, however, analysts said there still remains much room for improvement.
"The refinance index recovered almost all of the ground lost last week, and the purchase index notched its second week of growth, even if it was at an unspectacular rate," said Michael McGrane, Moody's analyst (Economy.com). "Nonetheless, on a 12-week moving average basis, purchase activity is still stuck in neutral."
The contract rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages climbed 3 basis points to 4.11% for the week, 8 basis points below levels seen a month ago and 50 basis points below levels seen a year ago at this time.
For 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgages, the rate fell 4 basis points to 4.07%, and the five-year adjustable-rate mortgage rate climbed 4 basis points to 3.11%.