PhotoMortgage applications fell for the second time in a row, edging down 0.8% in the week ending March 24.

The Mortgage Bankers Association also reports the Refinance Index was down 3% from the previous week with the refinance share of mortgage activity dropping 1.1% to 44.0% of total applications -- the lowest level since October 2008.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity slipped to 8.5% of total applications; the FHA share inched down 0.1% to 10.8%; the VA share rose to 11.0% from 10.1%; and the USDA share of total applications increased to 1.0% from 0.9% the week before.

Contract interest rates

  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) plunged 13 basis points -- from 4.46% to 4.33% -- with points increasing to 0.43 from 0.41 (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 $424,100) fell to 4.26% from 4.40%, with points decreasing to 0.26 from 0.37 (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 was down nine basis points to 4.24%, with points decreasing to 0.36 from 0.40 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year FRMs went from 3.68% to 3.57%, with points increasing to 0.43 from 0.37 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs fell 11 basis points to 3.30%, with points increasing to 0.28 from 0.25 (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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