The volume of both purchase and refinancing applications moved lower last week, The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of that volume, recorded a seasonally adjusted decline of 2.5 percent in overall activity during the week ended April 27.  Unadjusted, the volume was 2.0 percent lower than the previous week.


Refi Index vs 30yr Fixed



Purchase Index vs 30yr Fixed



The index measuring applications for home purchase financing was down 2 percent. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent compared with the previous week but was 5 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

Four percent fewer applications for refinancing were received than during the week ended April 20 and the refinancing share of total applications retreated to 36.5 percent from 37.2 percent.  It was the smallest share for refinancing since September 2008.

The allocation of applications across product types was essentially unchanged.  FHA and VA loan applications each ticked up 0.1 point to 10.3 percent and 10.2 percent respectively while the USDA share was unchanged at 0.8 percent.

Both contract and effective rates rose across the board again, and again set new multi-year highs.  The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with loan balances under the conforming limit of $453,100 increased to its highest level since September 2013, 4.80 percent, up from 4.73 percent.  Points increased to 0.53 from 0.49. 

The jumbo 30-year FRM, loans with balances above the conforming limit, also had the highest contract rates since September 2013, 4.69 percent with 0.42 point.  The previous week the rate was 4.64 percent, with 0.39 point.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year FRM backed by the FHA was back to levels last seen in July 2011, 4.81 percent, a 10-basis point increase. Points dipped to 0.78 from 0.79.

The 15-year FRM had an average contract rate of 4.21 percent with 0.49 point, up from 4.13 percent with 0.52 point. The rate was the highest since February 2011.

The share of applications for adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) ticked up from 6.5 percent to 6.7 percent despite that the contract rate for 5/1 ARMs rose to a survey high.  That rate, 4.3 percent, was up 5 basis points week-over-week.  Points were unchanged at 0.44.

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.