Applications for mortgages plunged during the week ended June 23, even as interest rates remained relatively stable. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of application volume, fell 6.2 percent, on a seasonally adjusted basis, from the week ended June 16 and was down 7 percent without an adjustment.
The decrease affected applications for both refinancing and for purchase, although refinancing took the larger hit. That index dropped by 9 percent and the refinance share of activity retreated a full percentage point to 45.6 percent.
The Purchase index was down from the prior week by 4 percent when seasonally adjusted and 5 percent unadjusted. Compared to the same week in 2016, the unadjusted index maintained an 8 percent edge.
The FHA share of total applications rose to 10.3 percent from 10.1 percent a week earlier while the VA share dipped to 10.3 percent from 10.4 percent. USDA's share of total applications was unchanged at 0.7 percent.
Interest rates were mixed but essentially unchanged from the previous week. Both the average contract interest rate and the effective rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loan balances of $424,100 were unchanged for the week. The contract rate remained at 4.13 percent while points declined to 0.32 from 0.34.
The average contract interest rate for jumbo 30-year FRM, those with balances higher than the conforming rate, rose by 1 basis point to 4.09 percent. Points however fell to 0.20 from 0.30, pulling the effective rate lower.
Thirty-year FRM backed by the FHA had an average contract rate of 4.02 percent, down from 4.04 percent. Points increased 0.41 from 0.35 and the effective rate was unchanged.
The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.39 percent with 0.33 point from 3.40 percent with 0.38 point. The effective rate also decreased.
The biggest movement in rates came in the 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). The contract rate rose from 3.26 percent to 3.31 percent and points increased to 0.25 from 0.22. The effective rate was also higher. The ARM share of activity decreased to 7.0 percent of total applications from 7.5 percent the previous week.
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.