There was virtually no change in the overall volume of mortgage applications during the week ended August 7 compared to the previous week, mirroring similar week-over-week movement in interest rates. A decline in applications for purchase mortgages virtually wiped out the small uptick in those for refinancing.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's Market Composite Index, a measure of loan application volume, increased a scant 0.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week ended July 31 but was down 1.0 percent when unadjusted.  The Refinancing Index, returned roughly to its May levels, rising 3 percent from the previous week.  The share of refinancing increased by slightly less than 2 percentage points to 53.1 percent, the largest share since April. 

Both the seasonally adjusted and unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent compared with the previous week.  The unadjusted Purchase Index was 20 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 13.3 percent from 13.8 percent the week prior and the VA share was up to 11.3 percent from 10.5 percent.  Applications for USDA mortgages dipped 0.1 percentage point to 0.7 percent.

Contract interest rates for fixed rates loans were mixed, moving modestly if at all.  The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) was unchanged at 4.13 percent.  Points did ease back to 0.31 from 0.34, bringing the effective rate lower.

The rate for jumbo FRM (balances greater than $417,000) was also unchanged, remaining at 4.08 percent.  Points increased to 0.34 from 0.27 so the effective rate did rise.

FHA backed FRM had an average contract rate of 3.94 percent, down 2 basis points from the previous week.  Points were unchanged at 0.22 and the effective rate decreased.

The rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.39 percent from 3.36 percent and points moved to 0.38 from 0.37. The effective rate increased from the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity remained unchanged at 6.8 percent of total applications.  The rate for the 5/1 ARM did show significant movement with the average contract interest rate rising 9 basis points to 3.11 percent and points falling to 0.32 from 0.43.  The effective rate increased.  

MBA's Weekly Mortgage Application Survey has been conducted since 1990 among mortgage bankers, commercial banks, and thrifts.  It covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications.  Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100 and interest rate information assumes a loan with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio.  Points include the origination fee.