It was a short week and one in which most Americans focused on food and families so the plunging number of mortgage applications filed during the week ended November 29 was not a surprise.  The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported a 12.8 percent decline in its Market Composite Index, a measure of application volume, on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to the previous week.  There was also an adjustment to the numbers to account for the Thanksgiving holiday.  On an unadjusted basis applications fell 40 percent from the week ended November 22. 

MBA's Refinance Index was down 18 percent from the previous week to its lowest level since the week ended September 6, also a holiday shortened period. The refinance share of mortgage applications fell to 63 percent from 66 percent.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased by 4 percent from a week earlier and the unadjusted index was 36 percent lower than the week before and 37 percent below the level the same week in 2012.  

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conventional loan balances of $417,000 or less increased to 4.51 percent with 0.38 point from 4.48 percent with 0.31 point.  The average rate for 30-year FRM with jumbo balances above the conforming limit increased one basis point to 4.49 percent and points increased from 0.15 to 0.24.  The effective rate for these and all fixed rate products increased during the week. 

FHA-backed 30-year FRM had an average contract rate of 4.17 percent compared to 4.16 percent the previous week.  Points increased from 0.24 point to 0.36.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.56 percent from 3.52 percent.  Points increased to 0.32 from 0.31

Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMS) maintained an 8 percent share of applications during the week.  The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.09 percent from 3.18 percent, with points decreasing to 0.28 from 0.37.  The effective rate decreased from the previous week.   

MBA's weekly Mortgage Applications Survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications.  Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts.  Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.  Interest rate quotes are for loans with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio and points include the origination fee.