The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said that mortgage applications decreased again during the week ended March 28,   The seasonally adjusted Market Composite Index, a measure of application volume, was down 1.2 percent from the week ended March 21.  On an unadjusted basis the composite lost 1 percent from its level a week earlier. 

While the Purchase Index inched up 1 percent on both a seasonally adjusted and unadjusted basis it could not compensate for the loss of 3 percent in the Refinancing Index from one week earlier.  The unadjusted Purchase Index was 17 percent lower than during the same week in 2013.

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Applications for refinancing made up 53 percent of all mortgage applications, down from 54 percent a week earlier.  This was the eighth straight week the share of refinancing applications has fallen. 

Mortgage rates, while still trending up did so modestly during the week.  Where increases occurred they were small and many rates remained unchanged.  The average contract rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conventional loan balances of $417,000 or less was unchanged at 4.56 percent with points increasing to 0.31 from 0.29.  The effective rate increased from the previous week.   

The jumbo version of the 30-year FRM (balances above $417,000) increased 1 basis point to 4.46 percent.  Points were unchanged at 0.27 and the effective rate increased.

The average contract rate for 30-year FRM backed by the FHA increased to 4.21 percent from 4.16 percent.  Points dropped to 0.15 from 0.23 and the effective rate decreased.

Fifteen-year FRM had an average contract rate of 3.62 percent, unchanged from the previous week.  Points decreased from 0.24 to 0.23 and the effective rate was unchanged.

Adjustable rate mortgages retained an 8 percent share of mortgage applications for the ninth straight week.  The average contract interest rate for the most popular of the adjustable rate mortgages, the 5/1 hybrid, increased to 3.25 percent from 3.22 percent and points increased from 0.32 to 0.38.  The effective rate increased from the previous week.

MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers over 75 percent of the U.S. retail residential mortgage applications. Survey respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts.  Interest rates are quoted for loans with 80 percent loan to value ratios and points include the origination fee.  Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.