The Mortgage Bankers Association's Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage application activity, inched down again during the week ended April 4, decreasing 1.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to the week ended March 28. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis the index was down 1 percent. Applications have been on a losing streak since the last week in February when there was a 9.8 percent jump.
Refinancing volume also fell again, with that MBA index decreasing 5 percent to its lowest level since the end of 2013. Refinancing as a share of all application activity dropped to 51 percent from 53 percent, the lowest portion since July 2009.
Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed
One bright spot from MBA's Weekly Mortgage Application Survey was its report on applications for purchase mortgages. These increased by 3.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from a week earlier and were also up 3 percent on an unadjusted basis. The unadjusted Purchase Index however was down 14 percent from the same week in 2013.
Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed
Interest rates were relatively flat. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) was unchanged at 4.56 percent, with points increasing to 0.33 from 0.31. The effective rate was unchanged from the previous week.
The contract interest rate for jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with loan balances over $417,000 increased to 4.49 percent from 4.46 percent. Points decreased to 0.14 from 0.27 and there was an easing of the effective rate.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA was 4.19 percent with 0.16 point compared to 4.21 percent with 0.15 point a week earlier. The effective rate decreased.
Fifteen-year fixed-rate mortgages retained the previous week's average rate of 3.62 percent, with points increasing to 0.31 from 0.23. The effective rate increased.
The average contract interest rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) increased to 3.26 percent from 3.25 percent, with points increasing to 0.5 from 0.38. The effective rate increased. ARMS of all types had an 8 percent market share, essentially the same share the products have held since last November.
The MBA's survey has been conducted since 1990 among 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 with points including the origination fee.