Mortgage Applications Increase For Second Consecutive Week

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Mortgage application volume jumped 5.3% on an adjusted basis during the week ended Feb. 22 as the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.65%, down from 4.66%, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey.

Applications for refinances increased 5% from the previous week while applications for purchases increased 6%.

The results include an adjustment for the Presidents’ Day holiday.

It was the second consecutive week that mortgage application volume increased. However, the two weeks were preceded by four consecutive weeks of declining volume.

On an unadjusted basis, total volume fell 3% compared with the previous week. Applications for purchases decreased 1% on an unadjusted basis but were 3% higher compared with the same week one year earlier.

“Mortgage rates were little changed last week, but as we anticipated, homebuyers are responding favorably to this more stable rate environment,” says Mike Fratantoni, senior vice president and chief economist for the MBA, in a release. “Purchase applications for both conventional and government loans rose last week, with the government gain led by a 14 percent increase in applications for VA purchase loans.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity fell to 40.4% of total applications, down from 41.7% the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 7.3% of total applications.

The average rate for a 5/1 ARM, based on closings, was 3.95%, down from 4.00%.

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