After six straight weeks of declining volume refinancing experienced a minor resurgence during the week ended April 1. The rebound more than offset a drop in purchase mortgages and drove the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA's) Market Composite Index slightly higher.

Overall mortgage applications, as measured by the index rose 2.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week ended March 25.  On an unadjusted basis the index climbed by 3.0 percent.  The volume of refinancing applications rose by 7 percent from the previous week and the refinancing share of total applications rose to 54.5 percent from 52.4 percent.

The Purchase Index was down 2 percent from the previous week on both a seasonally adjusted and an unadjusted basis and the unadjusted index was 11 percent higher than during the same week in 2015.  It is worth noting that the year-over-year gain in the seasonally unadjusted Purchase Index which was at 33 percent during the week ended March 11 has ratcheted down each week since.

Refi Index vs 30yr Fixed

Purchase Index vs 30yr Fixed

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 11.3 percent from 11.5 percent and the VA share fell to 12.2 percent from 12.9 percent.  The USDA share decreased to 0.8 percent from 0.9 percent.

Interest rates, both contract and effective, fell for all loan types.  The average contract rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 3.86 percent from 3.94 percent.  Points decreased to 0.32 from 0.36.

There was a 6 basis point decrease in the rate for jumbo 30-year FRM (balances greater than $417,000) to an average of 3.76 percent.  Points decreased to 0.27 from 0.28

Thirty-year FRM backed by the FHA had an average rate of 3.73 percent with 0.36 point.  The rate the previous week was 3.76 percent with 0.30 point.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year FRM decreased to 3.10 percent from 3.19 percent.  Points rose to 0.37 from 0.30.

Applications for adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) dipped from a 4.9 percent share the previous week to 4.7 percent.  The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs fell to 2.94 percent from 3.07 percent and points declined to 0.26 from 0.38.  

MBA's rate and volume data is gathered through its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey which covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications.  They survey has been conducted since 1990 with respondents that include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100 and interest rate data assumes loans with 80 percent loan-to-value ratios and points that include the origination fee.