The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said the average size of a purchase mortgage loan reported by respondents to its most recent Weekly Mortgage Applications was $280,500, the highest in the history of the survey.  MBA said this coincides with the trend in rising purchase activity for larger loan amounts.

MBA's Market Composite Index, a measure of loan application volume, was down 3.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis during the week ended April 18 compared to the previous week during which the composite saw its first increase since late February.  On a seasonally unadjusted basis the Composite was down 3.0 percent.

The Refinancing Index fell 4 percent and the market share of refinancing applications dropped to 51 percent of applications, down from 52 percent during the week ended April 11.  The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent and the unadjusted index was 2 percent below the level of the previous week and 18 percent lower than during the same week in 2013.  

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Both contract interest rates and effective interest rates rose during the week.  The average contract rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loan balances of $417,000 or less increased to 4.49 percent from 4.47 percent, with points increasing to 0.50 from 0.32.  The contract rate for the jumbo version of the 30-year FRM (balances in excess of $418000) was lower than the conforming rate, averaging 4.41 percent with 0.34 point compared to 4.39 percent with 0.18 point the previous week.

Thirty-year FRM backed by the FHA had an average rate of 4.30 percent, up 6 basis points from the previous week.  Points increased to 0.41 from 0.06.

The rate for 15-year FRM rose one basis point to 3.55 percent.  Points increased to 0.33 from 0.24.

The market share of adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) rose to 9 percent during the week after remaining at the 8 percent level since the last week in January. The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.16 percent from 3.15 percent, with points decreasing to 0.36 from 0.41.

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 rate information is based on loans with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio.  Points include the origination fee.