The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said today that mortgage applications were down across the board during the week ended May 12, with refinancing taking the biggest hit.  MBA's Market Composite Index, a measure of loan application volume, fell 4.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the Index for the week ended May 5.  On an unadjusted basis, the index was down 4.0 percent.

The Refinance Index dropped 6.0 percent from a week earlier and the share of refinance activity at 41.1 percent, was the lowest since September 2008.  The previous week the refinancing share had been 41.9 percent.

Both the seasonally adjusted and the unadjusted Purchase Indices were down 3 percent from one week earlier, but the latter remained 9 percent above the same week in 2016. The average loan size for purchase mortgage applications was $322,300, the highest in MBA survey records.

Refi Index vs 30yr Fixed

Purchase Index vs 30yr Fixed

The FHA share of total applications increased to 10.6 percent from 10.5 percent and the VA share dipped to 10.7 percent from 10.8 percent.  The USDA share was unchanged at 0.8 percent.

Average mortgage rates for the week were mixed on both a contract and an effective basis.  The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) was unchanged from the previous week at 4.23 percent.  Points increased to 0.37 from 0.31 and the effective rate increased.

The average contract interest rate for jumbo 30-year FRM, those with balances greater than $424,100, rose 1 basis point to 4.23 percent.  Points increased to 0.30 from 0.28, and the effective rate was higher than the prior week.  

FHA-backed 30-year FRM had an average rate of 4.11 percent with 0.37 point.  A week earlier the rate was 4.09 percent with 0.28 point.  The effective rate was up compared to the prior week.

Fifteen-year FRM averaged a 1 basis point increase in the contract rate, to 3.51 percent.  Points declined to 0.33 from 0.40, pulling the effective rate lower.

Applications for adjustable rate mortgages (ARM) fell to 8.1 percent of all applications from 8.2 percent, the lowest share of those applications since the week ended March 3.  The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.30 percent from 3.36 percent, with points increasing to 0.21 from 0.15.  The effective rate was lower than the prior week.

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