J.P. Morgan & Co. has expanded its indexes for tracking mortgage applications to include six U.S. regions.
The indexes, aimed at investors in mortgage securities, will provide details of application volume for refinancings and home purchases. The regions are the Northeast, Southeast, North Central, Southwest, West, and California.
Morgan introduced the service, which it calls Matrix, about six months ago. Its 46 refinance and purchase indexes provide detailed measures of mortgage application activity for all segments of the U.S. mortgage market. Data are obtained through a weekly survey of leading mortgage banking companies that account for about half of all mortgage originations.
In its first weekly report covering the new regions, the figures showed that each region had a sharp drop in the week ended June 16 after showing brisk gains in the two preceding weeks.
Nationally, the decline was 16% for refinancings and 7% for purchases. The drops were fairly uniform across the regions. California continues to be the laggard in volume, with an index of 192.3 for refis and 108.2 for purchases against national averages of 241.5 and 128.
The Southwest was a mixed bag, second-lowest behind California in refis but second-best in purchases. The top area for purchases continues to be the North Central, with an index of 163.9.
In an announcement, Morgan said its purchase and refi indexes were available, free of charge, on the Internet (http://www.jpmorgan.com) and through Bloomberg, Compuserve Information Service, Dow Jones-Telerate, Knight-Ridder, and Reuters. J.P. Morgan clients can also obtain an analytic commentary with the index data each week through J.P. Morgan's Compuserve forum.
Index numbers are updated each Wednesday morning.