Mortgage Applications Drop on Depressed Refinance Activity










Mortgage application activity fell once again as refinance volume dropped to its lowest level since September 2014, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

There was a 2.3% decline in application volume on a seasonally adjusted basis for the period ending April 24. The seasonally adjusted purchase index remained unchanged, while the refinance index plunged 4% during the same time span.

Overall, the refinance share of mortgage activity fell to its lowest level since last September at 55%.

Other mortgage types saw gains, however. The FHA share of total applications increased to 13.7% from 13.6% a week prior, while the VA share lifted to 11.3% from 11% during the same period.

Adjustable-rate mortgages also grew their share of total activity to 5.7%, but the USDA share yet again remained steady at 0.8%.

As for interest rates, the results for the week were more of a mixed bag. The contract interest rate for 30-year fixed mortgages with a balance above $417,000 dropped one basis point to 3.82% from 3.83%. The average contract interest rate for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages also decreased by one basis point to 2.88%.

Otherwise though, interest rates rose modestly. For 30-year fixed conforming mortgages below $417,000 the average interest rate increased two basis points to 3.85%. The average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA rose by one basis point to 3.65% and the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages grew to 3.14% from 3.11%.

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