PhotoMortgage applications were down for the second week in a row and the fourth time in five weeks.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports applications fell 3.3% during the week ending March 18.

The Refinance Index took another hit, falling 5%, sending the refinance share of mortgage activity down to 53.9% of total applications from 55.0% the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity was unchanged at 4.9% of total applications, the FHA share inched up to 11.8% from 11.7% the week prior, the VA share rose to 12.6% from 12.3%, and the USDA share of total applications came in at 0.9%.

Contract interest rates

  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) dipped one basis point from 3.94% to 3.93%, with points decreasing to 0.35 from 0.42 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year FRMs with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) dropped to 3.85% from 3.86%, with points decreasing to 0.27 from 0.28 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year FRMs backed by the FHA fell three basis points to 3.74%, with points decreasing to 0.32 from 0.33 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year FRMs went down to 3.18% from 3.22%, with points decreasing to 0.34 from 0.39 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs plunged 10 basis points to 3.13%, with points increasing to 0.36 from 0.35 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The survey covers over 75% of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications.


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