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Mortgage Applications Decrease in MBA Weekly Survey
Robinson, Matt
Mortgage application activity decreased last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported this morning in its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 26. 

The Market Composite Index fell by 3.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased by 4 percent compared to the previous week.

The Refinance Index decreased by 4 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index also decreased 3 percent compared with the previous week and was 5 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

"Mortgage rates were little changed last week, but remain roughly one percentage point higher than they were three months ago," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA's vice president of research and economics. "Refinance application volume continues to decline, with the refinance index now more than 55 percent lower than its recent peak, reaching the lowest level in over two years."

Fratantoni said applications for home purchases dropped for the fourth time in five weeks, "but purchase volume is running about 5 percent higher than last year at this time."

The refinance share of mortgage activity remained unchanged from the previous week at 63 percent of total applications. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity decreased to 6 percent of total applications. The Home Affordable Refinance Program share of refinance applications increased to 37 percent from 34 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) held steady at 4.58 percent, with points decreasing to 0.38 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 4.64 percent from 4.66 percent, with points decreasing to 0.31 from 0.33 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 4.30 percent from 4.28 percent, with points decreasing to 0.31 from 0.33 (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 increased to 3.67 percent from 3.63 percent, with points increasing to 0.40 from 0.35 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages increased to 3.39 percent from 3.30 percent, with points increasing to 0.36 from 0.34 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last 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.