Mortgage application volume dropped 3.5% last week, on a seasonally adjusted basis, compared to the week prior, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.
On an unadjusted basis, application volume decreased 3%.
The MBA notes that it revised the previous week's results – initially it had reported that volume dropped 1.2%, on an adjusted basis, for the week ending March 14. However, that has since been revised to an increase of about 0.2%.
Refinance application volume also continued to fall during the week ending March 21. According to the report, there was an 8.1% decline in conventional refinance applications and a 5.8% decline in government refinance applications. This brought the refinance share of mortgage activity to 54% of total applications, down from 57% the previous week to reach the lowest level since April 2010.
In contrast, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, which forecasts incoming application volume, increased 3% from one week earlier, driven mainly by a 4% increase in conventional purchase applications. Government purchase applications were essentially flat from the week before. On an unadjusted basis, the Purchase Index increased 3% compared with the previous week and was 17% lower than the same week one year ago.
Interest rates crept up last week. The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) with conforming loan balance ($417,000 or less) was 4.56%, up from 4.50% the week prior.
The average rate for a 30-year FRM with jumbo loan balance (greater than $417,000) was 4.45%, up from 4.39%.
The average rate for a 30-year FRM backed by the Federal Housing Administration was 4.16%, up from 4.13%.
The average rate for a 15-year FRM was 3.62%, up from 3.52%.
The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) was 3.22%, up from 3.09%. The ARM share of activity remained unchanged at 8% of total applications.