MBA: Application Volume Down Although Rates Stable


Mortgage application volume has declined from the previous week even though the 30-year fixed-rate loan interest rate was unchanged, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Its Market Composite Index was down 3.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ended July 26.

The Refinance Index, which is not adjusted, was down 4% from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index was down 3% over the same time period. When compared with the same week last year on an unadjusted basis, the purchase index is 5% higher.

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

Refi applications made up 63% of all new apps, same as the prior week. The HARP share of refi apps increased to 37%, up from 34% the week before.

HSH.coms rate tracker, which covers the period Wednesday to Tuesday, was up four basis points to 4.5%.

“Awaiting clear economic signals or direction from the Federal Reserve, mortgage rates are rather aimless at the moment,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of “The ending of the Fed meeting today will probably not provide much new information about how quickly the end will come for the Fed’s Quantitative Easing program, but there is plenty of fresh data which might kick them in one direction or the other.”

The average contract rate for the 30-year conforming FRM (MBA defines this as a loan with a balance of $417,500 or under) was unchanged at 4.58%. Federal Housing Administration-insured loans had an average contract rate for the week of 4.3%, up two basis points from the prior week.

Jumbo 30-year FRMs had a decline of two basis points to 4.3%. The 15-year FRM was up four basis points to 3.67%.

Adjustable-rate mortgages made up 6% of the weeks loan applications, and the average contract rate for the 5/1 ARM increased nine basis points to 3.39%.

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