The number of mortgage applications filed in the U.S. slumped, falling 4.7% for the week ending March 8, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday. The drop follows a substantial increase recorded just seven days earlier.
The refinance index dropped 5%, and the purchase index fell 3% from the previous week as new demand declined in the housing market.
"The announcement of stronger than anticipated job growth last week led to an increase in interest rates, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate in our survey reaching the highest level in more than six months," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s vice president of research and economics. "Refinance applications declined as a result, but remain high given the steady flow of HARP applications."
The refinance share of mortgage activity dropped to 76%, which is the lowest level since May of 2012. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity went the opposite direction, increasing to 5% of total applications.
The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with a conforming loan balance jumped to 3.81%, the highest rate since August 2012. Similarly, the average 30-year, FRM with a jumbo loan balance rose to 3.90% from 3.80%.
The average contract interest rate for the 30-year, FRM backed by the FHA increased to 3.53% from 3.47%.
Meanwhile, the 15-year, FRM increased to 3.01% from 2.96%, and the 5/1 ARM rose to 2.62% from 2.55%.