Mortgage Application Volume Dipped as Rates Increased Slightly

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After a significant drop the previous week, mortgage applications fell 5.6% during the week ended April 5, as the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage increased to 4.40%, up from 4.36% the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey.

Applications for refinances decreased 11% from the previous week while applications for purchases increased 1%.

On an unadjusted basis, total volume fell 5% compared with the previous week. Applications for purchases increased 1%, on an unadjusted basis, and were 13% higher compared with the same week one year earlier.

“Mortgage rates inched back up last week, but remain substantially lower than they were in the second half of last year,” says Mike Fratantoni, senior vice president and chief economist for the MBA, in a release. “As quickly as refinance activity increased in recent weeks, it backed down again in response to the rise in rates.

“However, this spring’s lower borrowing costs, coupled with the strong job market, continue to push purchase application volume much higher,” Fratantoni adds. “Purchase applications are now up more than 13 percent compared to last year at this time.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 44.1% of total applications, down from 47.4% the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 7.6% of total applications.

The average rate for a 5/1 ARM, based on closings, was 3.78%, up slightly from 3.77% the previous week.

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