Mortgage activity declined again during the week ended July 27.  The Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA's) Market Composite Index, a measure of loan application volume was down for the third consecutive week, falling by 2.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the July 20 level.  On an unadjusted basis the index lost 3 percent.

Bost the seasonally adjusted and the unadjusted Purchase Indicies were also down 3 percent.  The adjusted Purchase Index has declined an aggregate of 9 percentage points over the last three weeks, reflecting the recent softening of both new and existing home sales. The unadjusted Purchase Index remains 1 percent higher than during the same week in 2017.


Refi Index vs 30yr Fixed



Purchase Index vs 30yr Fixed



The Refinance Index decreased 2 percent from the previous week.  The share of applications intended for refinancing increased from 36.8 percent of the total the previous week to 37.1 percent.

Applications for FHA-backed mortgages rose to 10.4 percent of the total submitted from 9.9 percent the previous week and the VA share tick up to 10.5 percent from 10.2 percent. The USDA share was unchanged at 0.8 percent.

With the exception of fixed rate mortgages (FRM) backed by the FHA, interest rates increased last week on both a contract and an effective basis.  The FHA rate was unchanged at 4.78 percent and points ticked up to 0.74 from 0.73.  The effective rate was also unchanged.

The average rate for 30-year FRM with loan balances at or below the conforming limit of $453,100 jumped to 4.84 percent from 4.77 percent.  Points were unchanged at 0.45.   

The rate for jumbo 30-year FRM, loans that exceed the conforming loan limit, increased by an average of 4 basis points to 4.76 percent.  Points rose to 0.37 from 0.31.    

The average contract interest rate for 15-year FRM increased to 4.29 percent from 4.23 percent, with points increasing to 0.53 from 0.44.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) increased to its highest level in the history of the MBA survey, 4.17 percent from 4.09 percent, with points increasing to 0.32 from 0.29.  The ARM share of applications was up slightly from 6.3 to 6.4 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.