The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) has released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ended October 28.   MBA's Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis and was unchanged on an unadjusted basis. 

The Refinance Index was down 0.2 percent from the previous week while the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 1.8 percent.  The unadjusted Purchase Index was 2.1 percent lower than during the same time period in 2010.

All three four week moving averages fell; the seasonally adjusted Market Index by 2.5 percent, the Refinance Index by 3.19 percent and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index by 0.06 percent.

Refinances as a share of conventional applications decreased to 83.8 from 84.1 the previous week but for government related activity it increased from 48.6 to 49.4. The refinance share of all mortgage activity decreased to 77.1 percent of total applications from 77.3 percent the previous week, the fourth straight week of decline. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity slipped one basis point to 5.8 percent of total applications.  

On a regional basis, the Pacific area saw the greatest increase in activity with applications rising 7.5 percent in September compared to August. 

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Interest rates were mixed.  The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming balances ($417,500 or less), was down to 4.31 percent with 0.49 point from 4.33 percent with 0.47 point.  All points include origination fees.  The effective rate increased. The rate for loans with jumbo balances increased one basis point to 4.69 percent with points increasing to 0.45 point from 0.42.  The effective rate also increased.

Thirty-year FRM backed by FHA had a rate decrease to 4.09 percent from 4.11 percent with points dropping to 0.51 from 0.61.  The effective rate also decreased. 

The contract rate for 15-year FRM increased to 3.63 percent from 3.62 percent with points unchanged at 0.45.  The effective rate also increased from last week.  

The 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) lost 2 basis points, averaging 3.09 percent with points unchanged at 0.50.  The effective rate decreased. 

All rate information is based on loans with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio.

The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts.  Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.