The volume of mortgage applications rose last week even as some interest rates reached their highest levels in nearly three
years. The Mortgage Bankers Association
(MBA) said that its Market Composite Index, viewed on a seasonally adjusted
basis, was up 3.1 percent during the week ended March 10. The index rose 4.0 percent compared to the
previous week when unadjusted.
Applications for both refinancing and purchasing contributed
to the increase. The Refinance Index was
up 4.0 percent from the week ended March 3.
The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index gained 2.0 percent while the
unadjusted Purchase Index increased 3 percent.
The unadjusted Purchase Index was 6 percent higher than the same week in
Refi Index vs 30yr Fixed
Purchase Index vs 30yr Fixed
The refinance share of activity was also up slightly,
rising from 45.4 percent a week earlier to 45.6 percent. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) portion of
activity continued its recent increases, rising to the highest share of total
applications since October 2014, 8.2 percent.
The previous week ARMs held a 7.7 percent share.
Applications for FHA mortgages accounted for 11.1
percent of total applications, down from 11.8 percent a week earlier. The VA
share decreased to 11.1 percent from 11.6 percent and the USDA share was
unchanged at 0.9 percent.
Contract and effective rates posted significant
increases for all fixed-rate mortgages (FRM), while rates for ARM were
down. The average contract interest rate
for 30-year FRM with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) increased to
its highest level since April 2014, 4.46 percent, from 4.36 percent. Points dropped to 0.37 from 0.44.
Jumbo 30-year FRM, loans with balances greater than
$424,100, had the highest average rate since April 2014 as well, rising to 4.44
percent from 4.27 percent. Points
increased to 0.28 from 0.25.
The contract rate for 30-year FRM backed by the FHA averaged
4.29 percent with 039 point. The
previous week the rate was 4.18 percent with 0.32 point. The contract rate was
at its highest level since January 2014.
The average contract interest rate for 15-year FRM was
3.66 percent, up 9 basis points week-over-week. Points increased to 0.45 from 0.36.
The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs
decreased to 3.45 percent from 3.48 percent, with points increasing to 0.24
from 0.20. The effective rate decreased.
MBA derives volume and interest rate data from its
Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. The
survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage
applications, and 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. Interest rate information
is based on mortgages with 80 percent loan-to-value ratios and points that
include the origination fee.