Applications for purchase mortgages have ended three straight weeks in which their volume increased an average of 6 percent.  The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said today that those applications dropped by 3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis during the week ended April 10 and 2 percent on an unadjusted basis.    They did however remain 7 percent higher than in the same week in 2014.

The decline in the purchase component brought MBA's Market Composite Index, a measure of all application activity, down by 2.3 percent on an adjusted basis and 2 percent unadjusted compared to the week ended April 3.  The Refinance Index also declined 2 percent but applications for refinancing represented 58 percent of the total, up one percentage point from the week before.

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

The FHA share of total applications increased to 13.5 percent from 13.2 percent the previous week and the VA share rose from 10.7 percent to 11.1 percent.  The USDA portion of the total was unchanged at 0.8 percent.

Mortgage rates were mixed and flat.  The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased by one basis point to 3.87with points increasing to 0.38 from 0.27.  The effective rate increased from the previous week.

The average rate for 30-year FRM with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) was 3.84 percent with 0.35 point compared to a rate of 3.81 percent with 0.26 point a week earlier.  The effective rate was also higher.

The sole decline during the week was in the contract rate for FHA-backed 30-year FRM which decreased from 3.69 percent to 3.67 percent.  Points increased to 0.23 from 0.18 and the effective rate was unchanged.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.16 percent from 3.15 percent.  Points remained at 0.29 and the effective rate increased.  

The market share for adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) declined from 5.5 percent to 5.4 percent for the week. The average 5/1 ARM interest rate increased to 2.82 percent from 2.76 percent, with points decreasing to 0.40 from 0.45. The effective rate also rose.

MBA's Weekly Mortgage Application Survey, which has been conducted since 1990, covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications.  Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100 and interest rates assume a loan with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio and points that include the origination fee.