The week ended November 10 saw a strong pickup in applications for refinancing but continued weakness in those for home purchases.  The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of that volume, increased 3.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis and 2 percent unadjusted.  There was no adjustment to the weeks results to account for the Veterans' Day holiday which was observed on Friday.

Applications for financing made up the majority of those received during the week for the first time since September, increasing from a 49.0 share during the week ended November 3 to 51.3 percent.  The Refinance Index increased 6 percent.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index managed an 0.4 percent gain, but the unadjusted version was down 3 percent from the previous week. The unadjusted index was 17 percent higher than during the same week in 2016.

Refi Index vs 30yr Fixed

Purchase Index vs 30yr Fixed

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 10.2 percent from 10.6 percent the previous week and the VA share ticked up to 10.1 percent from 10.0 percent. USDA loans had the same 0.7 percent share as a week earlier. 

Mortgage interest rates were unusually flat. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loan balances of $424,100 or less remained unchanged at 4.18 percent. Points increased to 0.40 from 0.38, but effective rates were also unchanged.

There was also no change in the contract rate of 30-year FRMs with jumbo balances above the conforming rate. It remained at an average of 4.12 percent with points increased to 0.26 from 0.24. The effective rate was also unchanged.

FHA-backed 30-year FRM retained the previous week's average rate of 4.05 percent, as well as the prevailing effective rate.  Average points declined to 0.40 from 0.43.

Rates did rise for 15-year FRM, which in fact moved up 3 basis points to their highest level since last March, 3.54 percent.  Points decreased to 0.43 from 0.44 and the effective rate moved higher.  

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) gained 8 basis points compared to the previous week, reaching 3.41 percent, also the highest rate since March.  Points dropped to 0.37 from 0.59, leaving the effective rate unchanged. The ARM share of applications decreased to 6.4 percent from 6.6 percent.

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.