PhotoMortgage applications were down again for the third time in as many weeks.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reports applications dipped 1.6% during the week ending March 31, with the Refinance Index down 4%. That took the refinance share of mortgage activity to 42.6% of total applications from 44.0% the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity was unchanged at 8.5% of total applications, the FHA share rose to 11.1% from 10.8% a week earlier, the VA share of total applications rose 1.1% to 11.1%, and the USDA share of total applications held steady at 1.0%.

Contract interest rates

  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) inched up one basis point from 4.33% to to 4.34%, with points decreasing to 0.31 from 0.43 (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) slipped to 4.24% from 4.26%, with points decreasing to 0.24 from 0.26 (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 nine basis points to 4.15%, with points decreasing to 0.32 from 0.36 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year FRMs was unchanged at 3.57%, with points decreasing to 0.38 from 0.43 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs rose to 3.33% from 3.30%, with points decreasing to 0.13 from 0.28 (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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