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Mortgage applications down 1.2% last week

Mortgage applications declined 1.2% for the week ended March 2, as refinancing activity slowed.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly market composite index — a measure of loan application volume — fell 1.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis, while the refinance index decreased 2% from the previous week. The index rose 10.2% on an unadjusted basis.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index, which measures home purchase applications, rose 2.1% from the previous week. The unadjusted purchase index climbed 14.7% from the prior week and was 7.8% lower than a year earlier.

The MBA said last week's results include an adjustment for President's Day.

The refinance share of mortgage activity declined to 77% of total mortgage applications, the lowest rate since December and down from 77.9% last week.

In February, investors made up 6.1% of home purchase applications, compared to 6.4% in January as demand declined in New England.

The average interest rate for the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with conforming loan balances of $417,500 or less fell to 4.06%, down from 4.07%. The rate for 30-year, fixed jumbo loans declined to 4.33% from 4.34%.

The 30-year, FRM backed by FHA increased to 3.87%, and the average interest rate for the 15-year, FRM remained unchanged at 3.36%.

The MBA said the average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs remained unchanged at 2.78% with points decreasing to 0.35 from 0.38 for 80% LTV loans.

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