Mortgage applications escalated 4% for the week ending April 5, recovering from a drop last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.  

The refinance index also turned around, increasing 6% after falling the same amount a week ago.

Meanwhile, the purchase index inched down 1% compared to a slight increase last week.

"Although total purchase application volume fell last week, there was a significant divergence between the conventional and government markets," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s vice president of research and economics.

He explained,"Following the April 1 increase in Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance premiums, government purchase applications fell by almost 14%, to their lowest level since February 2013."

"On the other hand, applications for conventional purchase loans increased by more than 5%, bringing the conventional purchase index to its highest level since October 2009 and the highest level since the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit"

Overall, Fratantoni added, "With these changes, the government share of all purchase loans fell to 30%, the lowest level since we began tracking this series in 2011."

The refinance share of overall mortgage activity crept up to 75%, while the adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity remained at 5% of total applications.

The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with a conforming loan balance decreased to 3.68% from 3.76%.

Meanwhile, the average 30-year, FRM with a jumbo loan balance dropped to 3.79%, compared to 3.85% last week.

The average contract interest rate for the 30-year, FRM backed by the FHA also sank to 3.43%.

Additionally, the 5/1 ARM reversed from a week ago falling to 2.58% from 2.60%, and the 15-year, FRM dropped to 2.92% from 2.99%, the lowest rate since January 2013.

bswanson@housingwire.com