The week ended December 5 was another of those post-holiday periods when mortgage application data skews all over the place just as it did during the holiday week itself.  At the end most figures ended up essentially where they were before the festivities began. 

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said that its Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage application volume, increased by 7.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, precisely offsetting the decline in the index the previous week which was shortened by the Thanksgiving holiday.  On an unadjusted basis the index rose 52 percent, more than overcoming its 37 percent plunge the week before. 

The Refinance Index increased 13 percent from the previous week and the refinance share of applications increased to 64 percent of the total compared to 60 percent during the week ended November 28.

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index was 1 percent higher than the previous week and the unadjusted Index was up 37 percent from the holiday week when it fell 32 percent. It was 4 percent lower than during the corresponding week in 2013.

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Applications for various loan types changed only marginally from the previous week.  Applications for FHA-backed mortgages were down from 9.3 percent to 9.0 percent of the total; VA applications had a 9.6 percent share compared to 9.4 percent and USDA's market share was unchanged at 0.8 percent.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased to 4.11 percent from 4.08 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.28.  The effective rate increased.

Thirty-year FRM with jumbo loan balances exceeding $417,000 averaged 4.07 percent with 0.16 point.  The effective rate increased from the previous week when the contract rate had been 4.11 percent with 0.22 point.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year FRM backed by the FHA increased by 2 basis points to 3.87 percent with points decreasing to 0.03 from 0.09.  The effective rate remained unchanged.  

Fifteen-year FRM had an average rate of 3.35 percent with .30 point compared to 3.30 percent with 0.25 point the previous week.  The effective rate was also higher.

Seven percent of applications during the week were for adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) compared to 6.7percent the week before.  The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.11 percent from 3.07 percent, with points decreasing to 0.19 from 0.32.  The effective rate was unchanged week-over-week. 

MBA's Weekly Mortgage Application Survey which has been conducted since 1990 gathers application and rate data covering over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications.  Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. The base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100 and rate information assumes loans with 80 percent loan-to-value ratios.  Points include the origination fee.