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Mortgage Applications Down Again in MBA Weekly Survey

Robinson, Matt
Mortgage applications fell for the third consecutive week and for the sixth time in eight weeks since the new year, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported this morning in its Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending Feb. 22.

The Market Composite Index fell by 3.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased by 3 percent compared to the previous week. This week’s results did not include an adjustment for the Presidents’ Day holiday.

The Refinance Index decreased by 3 percent from the previous week. The refinance share of mortgage activity was unchanged from the previous week at 77 percent of total applications and remains at its lowest level since early July.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased by 5 percent from one week earlier and is at its lowest level since the week ending December 28. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased by 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 14 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) decreased to 3.77 percent from 3.78 percent, with points increasing to 0.48 from 0.40 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500) decreased to 3.93 percent from 3.94 percent, with points decreasing to 0.37 from 0.40 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA was unchanged at 3.54 percent, with points increasing to 0.41 from 0.40 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages was unchanged at 3.03 percent, with points decreasing to 0.34 from 0.38 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages decreased to 2.65 percent from 2.66 percent, with points increasing to 0.36 from 0.32 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The ARM share of activity was unchanged at 4 percent of total applications. The Home Affordable Refinance Program share of refinance applications increased to 30 percent from 29 percent the prior week.

The survey covers more than 75 percent of all U.S. retail and consumer direct residential mortgage applications and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts.