Mortgage applications rose 5.3% last week after month-long decline
The number of mortgage applications filed in the past week jumped 5.3%, reversing course from a month-long decline in filings, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The sudden upswing in activity is attributed to an increase in applications for government loans, which grew 17.6%, pushing the seasonally adjusted purchase index 10% higher. For the week ended April 15, the MBA's market composite index – a measure of mortgage loan application volume – grew 5.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis, while the refinance index inched up 2.7% from the previous week. "Refinance activity increased somewhat, as rates dropped to their lowest level in a month towards the end of the week," said Michael Fratantoni, MBA's vice president of research and economics. The four-week moving average for the seasonally adjusted market index and the refinance index fell 2.9% and 5.7%, respectively, while the seasonally adjusted purchase index rose 2.5%. The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.83% from 4.98% a week earlier, while the 15-year FRM decreased to 4.07% from 4.17%. Refinancing activity during the period declined to 58.5% of total applications, compared to 60.3% a week earlier. Write to Kerri Panchuk.