Applications for mortgage refinancing made up only 58 percent of all mortgage applications during the week ended February 21, down 3 percentage points from the previous week and the lowest market share since last September.  According to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) its Refinancing Index was 11 percent lower than the week ended February 14 and almost all other application volume markets fell as well.

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

MBA's seasonally adjusted Market Composite Index which measures all application volume was down 8.5 percent and the unadjusted index fell 7.0 percent compared to the previous week.  The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index declined 4 percent from the previous week to its lowest level since 1995.  Purchase applications rose a slight 0.1 percent from a week earlier but were 15 percent below where they were during the same week in 2013.

"Purchase applications were little changed on an unadjusted basis last week, but this is the time of a year we would expect a significant pickup in purchase activity, and we are not yet seeing it," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA's Chief Economist.


Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Contract rates for all fixed rate mortgages returned to mid-January levels and effective rates all increased.  The average contract rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased to 4.53 percent from 4.50 percent, with points increasing to 0.31 from 0.26

The rate for jumbo 30-year FRM (balances greater than $417,000) increased to 4.47 percent.  Points increased to 0.13 from 0.11

Average rates for the 30-year Fixed backed by FHA was up one basis point from the previous week to 4.17 percent.  Points increased to 0.20 from 0.14.

Fifteen-year FRM had an average rate of 3.56 percent with 0.28 point.  The previous week the average was 3.55 percent with 0.33 point.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) decreased to 3.17 percent from 3.20 percent, with points decreasing to 0.31 from 0.38 and the effective rate decreased.  The ARM share of the market remained unchanged at 8 percent.

MBA's Weekly Mortgage Application Survey has been conducted since 1990.  Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.  Contract and effective rates are quoted for loans with 80 percent loan-to-value ratios and points include the origination fee.