MBA: Mortgage applications rise after two weeks of declines

Includes adjustment for Presidents’ Day holiday

Mortgage applications rose 5.8% from one week earlier after two weeks of declines, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Feb. 24, 2017.

It’s important to note that this week’s results included an adjustment for the Presidents’ Day holiday, which fell on Feb. 20.

Mortgage applications managed to increase despite the share of refinance applications reaching a record low as interest rates remain above 4%.

Once again, the refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 45.1% of total applications, marking its lowest level since November 2008. This is down from 46.2% the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity remained unchanged at 7.3% of total applications.

The Refinance Index increased 5% from the previous week to its highest level since December 2016, wile the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 7% from one week earlier.

Looking at the different product options, the Federal Housing Administration’s share of total applications increased to 12.3% from 11.6% the week prior.

The Veteran Affairs' share of total applications decreased to 11.7% from 12.1% the week prior, while the United States Department of Agriculture’s share of total applications remained frozen at 0.9%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) decreased to 4.30% from 4.36%.

Similarly, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,100) decreased to 4.23% from 4.29%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 4.07% from 4.14%, as the average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.51% from 3.56%. 

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