Mortgage application volume fell 2.0% on an adjusted basis last week as applications for refinances decreased 1.0% and applications for purchases decreased 3.0%, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.
On an unadjusted basis, applications for purchases increased 2.0% compared with the previous week and increased 10.0% compared with the same week one year earlier. The reason for the 10.0% difference is that the same week last year included the President’s Day holiday.
The refinance share of mortgage activity was 46.2%, down from 46.9% to reach the lowest level since November 2008, according to the MBA’s data.
The decrease in applications was driven, in part, by a slight increase in mortgage interest rates. For the week ended Feb. 17, the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) was about 4.36%, up from 4.32%, according to the survey, which covers about 75% of all closed mortgages in the U.S.
The average rate for a 30-year jumbo FRM was 4.29%, up slightly from 4.28%.
The average rate for a 30-year FRM backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was 4.14%, up from 4.12%.
The average rate for a 15-year FRM was 3.56%, up from 3.55%.
The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) was 3.31%, down from 3.34%.
The ARM share of activity decreased to 7.3% of total applications.
Looking at the government loans, applications for mortgages backed by the FHA represented about 11.6% of all applications – down from 11.9% the week prior. The Veterans Affairs share was 12.1%, up from 11.8%, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture share was 0.9%, down from 1.0%.