The slight rise in mortgage application volume during the week ended December 6 was the first increase in six weeks. The Mortgage Bankers Association said that its Market Composite Index was up 1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week and 43 percent on an unadjusted basis.  The week that ended November 29 had included the Thanksgiving holiday and applications were down by 40 percent during that week.

The Refinance Index increased 2 percent from Thanksgiving week but was down 16 percent from the more typical week previous to that.  Sixty-five percent of all applications were for refinancing compared to a 63 percent share the previous week.

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 1 percent from the previous week and was 3 percent lower than the week prior to Thanksgiving.  The unadjusted Purchase Index was up 37 percent on a week-over-week basis but down 10 percent year-over-year.

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Rates across the board, both contract and effective, were higher across the board with all fixed rates rising to their highest level since last September.  The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loan balances below $417,000 increased to 4.61 percent from 4.51 percent.  Points decreased 0.26 from 0.38.  

The contract rate for jumbo 30-year FRM (loan balances above $417,000) increased 10 basis points to 4.59 percent, Points decreased to 0.15 from 0.24.

The rate for 30-year FRM backed by FHA jumped to 4.30 percent from 4.17 percent and points increased to 0.38 from 0.36.

Fifteen-year FRM had an average rate of 3.66 percent compared to 3.56 percent the week before.  Points decreased from 0.32 to 0.31. 

The share of applications for adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) has been slowing rising from the 3 percent range where it has languished for years.  Last week ARMs received 8.1 percent of applications, the largest share since July 2008. The average rate for a 5/1 ARM increased to 3.11 percent from 3.09 percent and points increased to 0.35 from 0.28.

Rates and application volume information are derived from MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey which has been conducted since 1990. Information is provided by mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts and covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications.   Interest rates are quoted for loans with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio and points include the origination fee.  The base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.