The week ended October 14 was a quiet one for mortgage applications. The week started with one of those holidays, Columbus Day, that are only partially observed and interest rates continued to rise, several; returning to pre-Brexit levels. The Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBAs) Market Composite Index rose 0.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, with an adjustment to account for the holiday, and was down 9 percent on an unadjusted basis.
The Refinance Index decreased 1 percent from the week ended October 7 and the refinance share of total applications dipped to 61.5 percent from 62.4 percent a week earlier. It was the lowest share of refinancing activity since late July. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased by 3 percent while the unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 7 percent and was 13 percent higher than the same week in 2015.
The FHA share of total applications increased to 11.3 percent from 10.9 percent and the VA share rose to 12.8 percent from 12.0 percent the prior week. The USDA share of total applications remained at 0.7 percent.
Contract interest rates were higher or unchanged for all loan products and all had a higher effective rate. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased to its highest level since June 2016, 3.73 percent, from 3.68 percent. Points increased to 0.36 from 0.35.
The rate for 30-year jumbo FRMs (loan balances greater than $417,000) also increased to its highest level since June, 3.72 percent, from 3.67 percent with points increasing to 0.29 from 0.24.
Thirty-year FRM backed by the FHA had a contract rate of 3.54 percent, unchanged from the previous week. Points however increased to 0.30 from 0.23.
The average rate for 15-year FRM rose 6 basis points to its highest level since June, 3.03 percent. Points fell to 0.27 from 0.34.
The share of adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) activity remained unchanged at 4.1 percent of total applications while the average contract rate for 5/1 ARMs returned to May 2016 levels. rising to its highest level since May 2016, 2.97 percent with 0.41 point, up from 2.92 percent with 0.28 point.
MBA's applications data is based on its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey which has been conducted since 1990. The survey gathers information from respondents representing 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 mortgage with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio and points that include the origination fee.