It was another down week for mortgage
application activity. The Mortgage
Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of
application volume, fell 5.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis during the
week ended December 13 and was down 6 percent on a non-adjusted basis compared
to the week ended December 6.
"Mortgage applications fell further last week, with the
market index falling to its lowest level in more than a dozen years," said Mike
Fratantoni, MBA's Vice President of Research and Economics. "Both
purchase and refinance applications fell as interest rates increased going into
today's Federal Open Market Committee meeting."
The MBA's Refinance Index was down 4
percent from the previous week but refinancing's share of all activity
increased from 65 percent to 66 percent.
The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index dropped 6 percent to its lowest
level since December 2012. The
unadjusted Purchase Index decreased
9 percent compared with the previous week and was 12 percent lower than the
same week one year ago.
Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed
Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed
Mortgage rates were mixed.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) with conforming balances of
$417,000 or less had an average contract rate of 4.62 percent, the highest
since September, with 0.38 point. The
previous week the rate was 4.61 percent with 0.26 point. The effective rate also increased.
The jumbo 30-year FRM (balances over $417,000) had an average
contract rate of 4.61 percent, an increase of 2 basis points from the previous
week, and points increased from 0.15 to 0.24.
This was also the highest contract rate since September and the
effective rate increased as well.
Both the contract and effective rates for 30-year FRM backed by the
FHA were down from the previous week with the contract rate at 4.25 percent
compared to 4.30 percent. Points decreased
to 0.32 from 0.38.
Average rates for 15-year FRM were unchanged at 3.66 percent. Points increased to 0.35 from 0.31 and the
effective rate rose. .
The share of adjustable rate mortgages remained unchanged at 8
percent of total applications. Both the
average contract rate and effective rate of the 5/1 ARM increased with the
contract rate rising 9 basis points to 3.20 percent and points up to 0.42 from
Application volume and rate information are compiled by MBA from
its Weekly Mortgage Application Survey which has been conducted since 1990. Rates are quoted for loans with an 80 percent
loan-to-value ratio and points include the origination fee. Base period and value for indexes is March