The volume of mortgage applications received during the week ended April 20 was largely unchanged from the previous week.  The Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of that volume, ticked down 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier although it was 1 percent higher before adjustment.  The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index was unchanged.  The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 1 percent compared with the previous week and was 11 percent higher than the same week in 2017.  


Refi Index vs 30yr Fixed



Purchase Index vs 30yr Fixed



The refinance portion of mortgage activity continued to retreat to new post-recession lows, accounting for 37.2 percent of the total received compared to 37.6 percent the previous week.  It was the smallest share for refinancing since September 2008. The Refinance Index itself was down 0.3 percent compared to the week ended April 13.

Applications for FHA-backed mortgages accounted for 10.2 percent of those received, down from 10.6 percent and the VA share dipped to 10.1 percent from 10.4 percent. USDA applications remained at 0.8 percent of the total.

Both contract and effective interest rates rose across the board during the week, with some hitting new multi-year highs. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loan balances of $453,100 or less increased to the highest level since September 2013, 4.73 percent, up from 4.66 percent.  Points increased to 0.49 from 0.46. 

Thirty-year FRM with loan balances exceeding the conforming limit had an average contract rate of 4.64 percent with 0.39 point.  It was the highest level for the jumbo loan since January 2014.  The rate had averaged 4.53 percent with 0.38 point the previous week.  

The average rate for 30-year FRM backed by the FHA increased 1 basis point to 4.71 percent. Points jumped from 0.53 to 0.79. 

The 15-year FRM hit a seven year high at 4.13 percent, rising from 4.08 percent the previous week.   Points increased to 0.52 from 0.47.  

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) was 3.98 percent, up from 3.94 percent and its highest level since February 2011. Points averaged 0.44, up from 0.43.  The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 6.5 percent of total applications from 6.6 percent.

MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey has been conducted since 1990 and 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 rate information is based on loans with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio and points that include the origination fee.