Mortgage applications fell slightly percent during the week ended March 14. According to MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage volume decreased 1.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week before and down 1 percent on an unadjusted basis.

The Refinance Index fell slightly week-over-week and refinancing garnered a 56.5 percent share of mortgage activity, down from 57 the previous week.  The refinancing share is off aproximately 6 percentage points from the level at the beginning of the year and is at the lowest point since April 2011.

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index was 1.0 percent lower and the unadjusted Purchase Index was 1.0 percent higher than in the week ended March 14.  The unadjusted index was 17 percent below that of the same week in 2013. 

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Both contract and effective interest rates decreased for all mortgage products during the week.  The average contract rate for conventional (loan balances under $417,000) 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) was 4.50 percent with 0.26 point.  The previous week the rate was 4.52 percent with 0.29 point. 

 The average rate for the jumbo version of the 30-year FRM (balances in excess of $417,000) was 4.39 percent, a decrease of 2 basis points from the week before.  Points were down 1 basis point to 0.19.

FHA backed 30-year FRM had an average rate of 4.13 percent with 0.18 point.  This was a decrease from the prior level of 4.18 percent with 0.21 points.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.52 percent from 3.53 percent.  Points decreased to 0.25 from 0.28.  

Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) had an 8 percent share of mortgage applications which has been essentially unchanged for the last eight weeks.  The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.09 percent from 3.18 percent, with points increasing to 0.38 from 0.36.  

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