The number of mortgage applications filed in the U.S. remained virtually unchanged for the week ending June 15, with the number of filings edging up a slight 0.8% from a week earlier.
Overall, home purchase applications dropped off while refinancing activity slowed to a moderate pace, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.
The refinance index increased 1% from a week earlier, according to the latest MBA survey. Meanwhile, the purchase index declined more than 9% from the previous week and is down 2% from a year ago.
"Refinance volume increased again last week, but the composition of activity changed markedly," said Michael Fratantoni, vice president of research and economics for the Mortgage Bankers Association. "Despite rates remaining near all-time lows, conventional refinance application volume declined, and the HARP share of refinance activity dropped to 20%."
He added, "On the other hand, FHA refinance volume exploded to an all-time high, more than doubling over the week. New, lower FHA premiums on streamlined refinance loans came fully into effect, and borrowers seized the opportunity to lower their mortgage rates without increasing their FHA premiums. Purchase activity fell off last week, but this is likely only a recalibration following the Memorial Day holiday, as the level of activity remains within the narrow band seen for the past three years."
Refinancings during the weeklong period made up 81% of total applications, compared to 79% a week earlier.
The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with a conforming loan balance of $417,500 or less declined to 3.87%, matching the lowest rate in the survey's history. Meanwhile, the average 30-year FRM with a jumbo loan balance declined from 4.12% to 4.06%, the lowest rate recorded for that particular product.
In addition, the 30-year, FRM backed by the FHA edged up from 3.71% to 3.72%, and the average 15-year FRM increased from 3.23% to 3.25%. The 5/1 ARM rate declined to 2.75%, its lowest rate yet.