The volume of mortgage applications increased during the week ended February 28 for the first time since late January. This good news was muted slightly by the fact that the previous week had been a holiday for many with government offices and schools closed.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its Market Composite Index increased 9.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week ended February 21 and 11 percent on an unadjusted basis. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index was 9 percent higher than the previous week but MBA noted that week was not adjusted to account for the President's Day holiday. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index during the most recent week was 6 percent above the level during the last non-holiday week which ended February 14. The unadjusted Purchase Index was 19 percent lower than during the same week in 2013.
Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed
The Refinance Index was up 10 percent from the holiday week but was 3 percent lower than two weeks earlier. Refinancing had a market share of 57.7 percent compared to 58 percent the previous week, the lowest since last September.
Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed
Both average contract and effective rates decreased last week for all mortgage products. The average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) with a conforming loan balance of $417,000 or less decreased to 4.47 percent with 0.28 point. The previous week the rate was 4.53 percent with 0.31 point.
Jumbo 30-year FRM (loan balances in excess of $417,000) had an average rate of 4.37 percent, 10 basis points below the average rate the previous week. Points increased to 0.20 from 0.13.
Thirty-year FRM carrying FHA guarantees had an average rate of 4.13 percent with 0.13 point. The previous week the average rate was 4.17 percent with 0.20 point.
The rate for 15-year FRM was 3.52 percent, down 4 basis points from the previous week. Points decreased to 0.18 from 0.28.
Adjustable rate mortgages (ARM) held at an 8 percent share of mortgage applications for the fifth straight week. The contract rate for the most widely offered ARM, the 5/1 hybrid, was 3.09 percent with 0.38 point. The rate the previous week was 3.17 percent with 0.31 point.
MBA's Weekly Mortgage Application Survey has been conducted since 1990. It surveys mortgage bankers, commercial banks, and thrifts and covers over 75 percent of U.S. retail residential mortgage applications. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990. Interest rates are quoted for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans and points include the origination fee.