Mortgage

Mortgage applications slip slightly in first week of March

Still largely holding steady after big February losses

Mortgage applications decreased 1.3% from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 6, 2015.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 1.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 1% compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 3% from the previous week to the lowest level since January 2015.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 2% from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 3% compared with the previous week and was 2% higher than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 60% of total applications from 62% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 5.6% of total applications. The average loan size for purchase applications increased to the highest level in the history of the survey at $294,900.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 14% this week from 14.6% last week. The VA share of total applications increased to 10.8% this week from 9.8% last week. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from last week at 0.8%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased to 4.01%, the highest level since the week ending Jan. 2, 2015, from 3.96%, with points increasing to 0.39 from 0.30 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) increased to 4.02% from 3.95%, with points remaining unchanged at 0.27 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 3.80% from 3.76%, with points decreasing to 0.20 from 0.21 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.29%, the highest level since the week ending Dec. 26, 2014, from 3.27%, with points remaining unchanged at 0.30 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.18% from 3.05%, with points decreasing to 0.40 from 0.50 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week. 

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