The Mortgage Bankers Association Refinancing Index rose to 2612.2 for the week ending Nov. 21, which is equivalent to about a 28% increase. This is compared to the holiday-adjusted level of 2043.9 the previous week.

A report by Citigroup Global Markets released this morning said that though the percentage increase is rather large, analysts said this should not be seen as a sign of renewed strength in refinancing activity.

“The increase in the holiday-adjusted index reflects the rally in mortgage rates at the end of the week ending November 14, 2003, which was not reflected in the previous MBA Refinancing Index,” wrote analysts. They added that the rise in this week’s Index was close to the firm’s expectations, which were based on the recent drop in mortgage rates. Analysts added they do not expect the media effect to pick up unless mortgage rates retest their June record lows.

Meanwhile, the MBA Purchase Index increased by 8% week over week on a seasonally adjusted basis, to 459.9 from 425.9 the previous week. The MBA Total Market Index increased by roughly 17% on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Citigroup analysts said that mortgage applications filed during the past week will probably close in late December or in early January due to the holidays.

In terms of mortgage rates, Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey released today showed the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.89% for the week ending Nov. 28. This week’s figure is up slightly from 5.83% last week. Freddie said that at this time last year, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.13%.

The average for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week is 5.22%, rising slightly from last week’s showing of 5.1%. A year ago, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.57%.

One-year ARMs averaged 3.77% this week, increasing from last week’s average of 3.72%. At the same time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 4.19%.

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