Mortgage applications were virtually unchanged during the week ended August 29.  The Mortgage Bankers Association said that its Market Composite Index, a measure of application volume, increased a marginal 0.2 percent from the previous week on a seasonally adjusted basis and was down 1 percent unadjusted. 

The Refinance Index rose 1 percent from the previous week and, as purchase applications fell, had a slightly increased market share of 57 percent compared to 56 percent the previous week.  The refinancing share of applications has trended up, albeit raggedly, since bottoming out at 49 percent during the week ended May 2.  Its share last week was the highest since March.

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

As noted, applications for home purchases were down, decreasing by 2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week ended August 22.  The unadjusted Purchase Index declined 4 percent from the previous week's level and was down 12 percent compared to the same week in 2013.

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Mortgage rates again were mixed.  The 30-year conforming fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) with loan balances of $417,000 or less had an average contract interest rate of 4.25 percent, the lowest rate since June 2013, with 0.24 points.  The rate the previous week was 4.28 percent with 0.25 point.  The effective rate also decreased.

The average contract rate of jumbo 30-year FRM, loans with origination balances exceeding $417,000, were unchanged at 4.22 percent while points decreased to 0.19 from 0.28.  The effective rate decreased.

The rate of FHA-back 30-year FRM increased one basis point to 3.99 percent while points decreased to 0.03 from 0.13.  The effective rate decreased.

Fifteen-year FRM rates also increased one basis point to 3.48 percent.  Points decreased to 0.30 from 0.34 and the effective rate remained unchanged.

The market share of adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) applications declined slightly to 7.8 percent of all applications received from 8.0 percent the previous week.  The average contract interest rate for the 5/1 ARM jumped from 3.10 percent with 0.52 point to 3.19 percent with 0.45 point and the effective rate increased.

MBA's data comes from its Weekly Mortgage Application Survey which it has conducted since 1990.  Survey respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks, and thrifts and data covers over 75 percent of retail residential mortgage applications in the U.S.  Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100 and interest rates are based on loans with an 80 percent loan to value ratio.  Points include the origination fee.