Mortgage application activity up, homeowners taking advantage of high affordability

As the prices for real estate in Los Angeles County continue to provide high affordability for potential buyers, a new survey shows more Americans are turning in mortgage applications. The Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending June 8 shows activity increased 18 percent from the week before. The Market Composite Index reached its highest level since May 2009, indicating the national housing market is stabilizing and prompting more consumers to try to be homeowners. On an unadjusted basis, the Index was up 30 percent when compared to the week prior while the Refinance Index rose 19 percent to the highest level since April 2009. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased about 13 percent from one week earlier and the unadjusted Purchase index grew more than 23 percent on a weekly basis and was 4 percent higher than this time last year. Current homeowners are also continuing to take advantage of low mortgage rates and home prices by refinancing their homes. "Refinance volume increased as borrowers were able to lock in at mortgage rates below 4 percent, and purchase application volume was its highest level in over six months," said Michael Fratantoni, vice president of research and economics for MBA. "HARP volume has been steady in recent weeks at about 28 percent of refinance applications."