Last week the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Purchase Index rose 15% and came in at 500.9, a level that is rarely seen. To give some idea of the rarity, last Jan. 16, the index hit 502 - the only time in recent history that the index had risen above 500. Meanwhile, the Refinance Index also increased by 27.6%.
"This was a surprisingly strong purchase reading, given the holiday-shortened week," said analysts from JPMorgan Securities. They stated that the Purchase Index is a more meaningful number in the current market environment because it adds more support to the belief that turnover activity will stay at record levels in the summer months.