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MBA: Refinance applications fall to eight-year low

Mortgage applications fall back for second straight week

The share of mortgage applications for refinances just fell to a level not seen since October 2008, new data from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed.

According to the MBA’s latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, which covers the week ending March 24, 2017, the refinance share of mortgage activity declined to 44% percent of total applications, the lowest that figure has been in more than eight years.

In the previous week, the refinance share was 45.1%.

The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity decreased to 8.5% of total applications, down from 9% in the previous week, which was the highest level since October 2014.

Overall, the latest MBA data showed that mortgage applications decreased 0.8% from one week earlier, marking the second straight decline.

The report showed the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 0.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.

On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 0.4% compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 3% from the previous week.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 1% from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 2% compared with the previous week and was 4% higher than the same week one year ago.

The Federal Housing Administration’s share of total applications decreased to 10.8% from 10.9% the week prior, while the Veterans Affairs’ share of total applications increased to 11% from 10.1% the week prior.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s share of total applications increased from 0.9% to 1%.

Additionally, the MBA’s report showed that the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,100) decreased to 4.26% from 4.4%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 4.24% from 4.33%.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.57% from 3.68%.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.30% from 3.41%.

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