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MBA: Purchase apps jump heading into spring home-buying season

Mortgage refinance apps fall further

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Mortgage applications were lifted by a rise in purchase applications as the market gears up for an early spring home-buying season, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 4 found.

According to the report, mortgage applications slightly increased 0.2% from one week earlier.

The rise was mostly due to the seasonally adjusted purchase index increasing 4% to the highest level since January 2016.

On the other side, the refinance index decreased 2% from the previous week.

The refinance share of mortgage activity fell to 56.7% of total applications from 58.6% the previous week, as the adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity decreased to 5.2% of total applications.

The Federal Housing Administration’s share of total applications remained frozen at 12% from the week prior, while the Veteran Affairs’ share of total applications increased to 12.6% from 12.1% the week prior.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s share of total applications marginally increased to 0.8% from 0.7% the week prior.

Mortgage rates increased across all categories, with the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) moving up to 3.89% from 3.83%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) grew from 3.75% to 3.81%.

Additionally, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 3.71% from 3.67%.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.14% from 3.13%, while the average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.20% from 3.02%. 

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