Mortgage applications declined overall for the fifth straight week even though there was a slight uptick in applications for purchase mortgages.  The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said that its Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage application volume, declined by 1.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis during the week ended May 22.  On an unadjusted basis the volume was down 2 percent compared to the week ended May 15.

The Refinance Index fell 4 percent from the previous week and the share of applications that were for refinancing dropped for the sixth consecutive week to 51 percent, one percentage point below the refinancing share a week earlier.

Applications for home purchases rose 1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis but were unchanged from the previous week on an unadjusted basis.  The unadjusted Purchase Index was 14 percent higher than during the same week in 2014.

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Mortgage rates increased across the board on both a contract and effective basis.  The average contract rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) with conforming balances of $417,000 or less increased from 4.04 percent to 4.07 percent.  Points increased from 0.32 to 0.35.

The jumbo 30-year FRM, those with balances above $417,000, had an average rate of 4.06 percent, up 2 basis points from the previous week.  Points increased from 0.25 to 0.29.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year FRM backed by the FHA increased to 3.83 percent from 3.80 percent.  Points increased to 0.16 from 0.06.

Fifteen-year FRM had a rate that averaged 3.29 percent, an increase of 3 basis points from the previous week.  Points were down from 0.30 to 0.24. 

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 hybrid adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) increased to 3.04 percent from 2.99 percent and points increased to 0.48 from 0.45.  The ARM share of applications was unchanged at 6.4 percent.

MBA's Weekly Mortgage Application 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 data is based on mortgages with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio with points that include the origination fee.