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MBA: Mortgage applications fall 4.3%

Refinance activity drops after last week’s high

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Mortgage applications simmered down after last week’s rise, decreasing 4.3% from one week earlier, the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Feb. 19 showed.

This week’s results include an adjustment to account for the President’s Day holiday.

The refinance share of mortgage activity dropped lower after last week’s high, falling to 61% of total applications from 64.3% the previous week, which was the highest level since February 2015. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity dropped from 6.7% of total applications last week to 5.8%.

In addition, the refinance index decreased 8% from the previous week, while the seasonally adjusted purchase index increased 2% from one week earlier.

The Federal Housing Administration share of total applications increased to 12% from 11.5% the week prior. The Veteran Affairs’ share of total applications increased to 13% from 11.7% the week prior, and the United State Department of Labor’s share of total applications marginally grew to 0.7% from 0.6% the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased to 3.85% from 3.83% a week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) increased from 3.74% last week to 3.80%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA slightly increased to 3.72% from 3.67% a week ago.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.12%, up from 3.11% last week, while the average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.07% from 2.92% last week. 

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