The Market Composite Index, a measure of loan application volume had its first positive week since June 6 last week, increasing 2.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week.  The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its unadjusted volume index also finished the week ended July 18 with an increase, up 3 percent.  All other weekly indicators also rose, the first time that has happened since January 10.  

MBA's Refinance Index increased 4 percent from the previous week and applications for refinancing edged up to a 54.4 percent share from 53.6 percent the previous week, and the highest share of the market since the week ended March.  

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Applications for purchase mortgages were marginally higher; the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index by 0.3 percent and the unadjusted Purchase Index by 1.0 percent. The unadjusted Purchase Index was 16 percent lower than during the same week in 2013, the sole indicator that retreated.

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Rates were mixed and largely flat.  The average contract rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) with a conforming balance of $417,000 or less was unchanged at 4.33 percent with points rising to 0.23 from 0.20.  The effective rate was unchanged.

The jumbo version of the 30-year FRM had an average rate of 4.21 percent, down 2 basis points from the previous week and the lowest rate since May 2013.  Points decreased to 0.20 from 0.26 and the effective rate declined.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year FRM backed by the FHA slipped to 4.03 percent from 4.04 percent.  Points increased to 0.15 from 0.02. The effective rate increased from last week.

The most significant rate change of the week was an increase in the contract rate of the 15-year FRM from 3.41 percent with 0.23 point to 3.47 percent with 0.28 point.  The effective rate also increased.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) increased to 3.21 percent from 3.17 percent, with points decreasing to 0.32 from 0.34.  The effective rate increased from last week.  ARMs continued to have an 8 percent share of mortgage applications.

MBA collects application and mortgage rate information from a Weekly Mortgage Application Survey which it has conducted since 1990.  Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks, and thrifts.  The survey covers over 75 percent of U.S. retail residential mortgage applications.  Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100 and rate information assumes that loans have an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio and points include the origination fee.