The short business week preceding the Thanksgiving holiday resulted, as usual, in fewer mortgage applications.  The Mortgage Bankers Association said its Market Composite Index, a measure of loan application volume, was down 3.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis during the week ended November 24, with results adjusted to account for the holiday.  On a non-adjusted basis volume fell 34 percent.

The Refinance Index was down 8 percent when compared to the week ended November 17, falling to its lowest level since January.  The refinance share of all applications was 48.7 percent compared to 49.9 percent the week before.

There was a 2 percent increase in the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, bringing it to the highest level in two months.  On an unadjusted basis the index was 32 percent lower than the prior week but 6 percent higher than in the same week in 2016.  

Refi Index vs 30yr Fixed

Purchase Index vs 30yr Fixed

Applications for FHA-backed mortgages accounted for 10.8 percent of applications, up from 10.6 percent the previous week.  The VA share increased to 11 percent from 10.7 percent and the USDA share from 0.7 percent to 0.8 percent.

Interest rates were mixed.  The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loan balances of $424,100 or less was unchanged from a week before at 4.20 percent.   Points decreased to 0.34 from 0.42, lowering the effective rate.

The jumbo version of the 30-year FRM, loans with balances greater than $424,100, decreased to 4.14 percent from 4.16 percent.  Points dropped to 0.27 from 0.30 and the effective rate decreased.   

The average contract interest rate for 30-year FRM backed by the FHA decreased to 4.07 percent with 0.37 point from 4.08 percent and 0.42 point.  The effective rate declined.  

Fifteen-year FRM had an average contract rate of 3.57 percent, 1 basis point higher than the week before.  Points were down to 0.40 from 0.42 but the effective rate still increased.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) increased to 3.42 percent from 3.31 percent, with points increasing to 0.58 from 0.38.  The effective rate increased from the prior week.  The ARM share of applications decreased to 6.2 percent of total applications from the 6.5 percent share a week earlier.

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.