Interest rates increased definitively last week and mortgage application volumes fell according to data released today by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).  The Market Composite Index, a measure of application volume, fell 4.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis during the week ended February 14.  The index was down 2.0 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. 

The Refinance Index decreased by 3 percent from the week ended February 7 and the share of applications that were for refinancing moved down from 62 percent to 61 percent, the lowest level since September 2013.  

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index also fell, down 6 percent to the lowest point since September 2011.  The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent from the prior week and was 17 percent lower than during the same week in 2013.

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

The average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) with a conforming balance ($417,000 or less) increased from 4.45 percent with 0.34 point to 4.50 percent with 0.26 point.   The effective rate for this and for all other loan products tracked also increased.  The jumbo 30-year FRM with balances above $417,000 saw rates increase to 4.45 percent with 0.11 point from 4.40 percent with 0.14 point.

The 30-year FRM backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) had a contract rate that averaged 4.16 percent compared to 4.13 percent the previous week.  Points increased to 0.14 from 0.10.

The average contract rate for 15-year FRM increased by 6 basis points to 3.55 percent.  Points rose to 0.33 from 0.25.

The share of applications that went to adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) rose slightly to 8 percent.  The average contract interest rate for the most common ARM, the five-year hybrid, rose to 3.20 percent from 3.11 percent.  Points increased to 0.38 from 0.31.

MBA's data comes from its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey which it has conducted since 1990.  Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrift and the survey covers 75 percent of retail mortgage originations.  Interest rates are quoted for loans with an 80 percent loan to value ratio and points include the origination fee.  . Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.