Mortgage applications took a tumble for the week ending Mar.1, 2019, according to the newest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni said slightly higher mortgages rates last week led to a decrease in application volume.

“Furthermore, the average loan size for purchase applications increased to a record high, led by a rise in the average size of conventional loans,” Fratantoni continued. “This suggests that move-up and higher-end buyers have so far become a greater share of the spring market.”

On an unadjusted basis, the Market Composite index retreated 2.5% from the previous week.

“Overall, conventional purchase loans are up 2.1% relative to last year, indicating that homebuyers continue to be inspired by the stable rate environment and the modest increase in housing supply,” Fratantoni concluded.

The Refinance Index decreased 2% from the previous week and the unadjusted Purchase Index rose 11% from a week ago and remains just 1% higher than the same week in 2018. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index also moved forward 11% from the week before.

Here's a more detailed breakdown of this week's mortgage application data:

  • The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 40% of total applications, falling from 40.4% the previous week.
  • The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity rose to 7.4% of total applications.
  • The Federal Housing Administration's share of mortgage apps increased from last week’s 10.2% to 10.3%.
  • The Veterans Affairs' share of applications moderately decreased from 10.7% the previous week to 10.4% this week.
  • The Department of Agriculture's share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.6% this week.
  • Mortgage interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances moved forward from 4.65% to 4.67%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances slightly increased from last week’s 4.40% to 4.41%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA held steady at 4.64% this week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages inched forward from 4% to 4.08%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs rose to 4.08% from 3.95%.

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