Applications for mortgages moved in two directions during the week ending November 22, depending on whether the figures were presented "as is" or on a seasonally adjusted basis.  The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said today that the Market Composite Index, a measure of loan application volume, decreased 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis but was up 9 percent on an unadjusted basis compared to the previous week.

There was a similar dichotomy with the Purchase Index which fell 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted and rose 6 percent compared with the week ended November 15.  When compared to the same week in 2012 the Purchase Index was up 35 percent. 

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

The Refinance Index increased 0.1 percent from the week before and the share of applications that were for refinancing rose from 64 percent to 66 percent.

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Mortgage interest rates also lacked direction.  Contract rates inched up while points and fees generally declined. 

The average contract rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased from 4.46 percent with 0.38 point to 4.48 percent with 0.31 point.   The jumbo 30-year FRM (balances over $417,000) contract rate rose 1 basis point to 4.48 percent while points decreased to 0.15 from 0.22.  The effective rate of both types of 30-year FRM decreased from the previous week.

The average rate for 30-year FRM backed by the FHA increased to 4.16 percent from 4.14 percent.  Points decreased to 0.24 from 0.25 and the effective rate increased.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages remained unchanged at 3.52 percent, with points decreasing to 0.31 from 0.33.  The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) increased to 3.18 percent from 3.12 percent, with points unchanged at 0.37.  The effective rate increased from the prior week. The ARM share of activity increased from 7 to 8 percent of total applications.

Rates are quoted for loans with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio and points include the origination fee. 

MBA has conducted its Mortgage Applications Survey weekly since 1990.  Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks, and thrifts.  The survey covers 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications and the base period and value for its indexes is March 16, 1990.