Despite a slight uptick in applications for refinancing, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports a downturn in overall application volume during the week ended April 14.  MBA said that its Market Composite Index, a measure of that volume, declined by 1.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis and was off from the previous week by 2.0 percent unadjusted.  Last week the adjusted index had gained 1.5 percent, after three straight weeks of losses.  MBA said its indexes were not adjusted to account for Good Friday.

The Refinance Index was up 0.2 percent, posting its first gain since the week ended March 10. The refinancing share of business rose to 42.4 percent from 41.6 percent the previous week.

Both the seasonally adjusted and the unadjusted Purchase Indices were down 3 percent compared to the week ended April 7.  The unadjusted index was 1 percent lower than during the same week in 2016.

Refi Index vs 30yr Fixed

Purchase Index vs 30yr Fixed

The FHA share of total applications rose to 11.0 percent from 10.7 percent the previous week while the VA share decreased to 11.1 percent from 11.3 percent.  USDA applications again accounted for 1.0 percent of the total.

Contract interest rates declined again, although effective rates were mixed. Apart from FHA-backed loans, contract rates were back to levels last seen in November.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) was 4.22 percent, down from 4.28 percent.  Points declined 0.35 from 0.38 and the effective rate was down.

The jumbo version of the 30-year FRM, loans with balances greater than $424,100, had an average contract rate of 4.15 percent with 0.23 point.  The previous week the rate was 4.24 percent with 0.28 point. The effective rate also decreased.

FHA-backed 30-year FRM had an average contract rate of 4.09 percent, down 5 basis points from the previous week.  Points increased to 0.36 from 0.29, but the effective rate was still down.

Fifteen-year FRM had an average contract rate of 3.50 percent down from 3.51 percent.  Points increased to 0.41 from 0.35 and the effective rate was up.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) dipped to 3.27 percent from 3.33 percent.  Although 0oints increased to 0.26 from 0.17, the effective rate decreased from the prior week. The ARM share of application activity decreased to 8.4 percent of total applications from 8.5 percent.

MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, which has been conducted since 1990, covers 75 percent of the U.S. retail residential market.  Survey respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks, and thrifts.  Base period and value for the application volume indexes is March 16, 1990=100.  Interest rate data is based on loans with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio and points that include the origination fee.