PhotoMortgage applications fell last week for the third week running.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports its Market Composite Index -- a measure of mortgage loan application volume -- was down 1.0% on a seasonally adjusted basis in the week ending March 25.

The Refinance Index was down 3% from the previous week, taking the refinance share of mortgage activity to 52.4% of total applications from 53.9% the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity was unchanged at 4.9% of total applications, the FHA share slipped to 11.5% from 11.8%, the VA share inched up to 12.9% from 12.6%. and the USDA share held steady 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) edged up one basis point -- to 3.94% from 3.93%, with points increasing to 0.36 from 0.35 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year FRMs with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) dropped from 3.85% to 3.82%, with points increasing to 0.28 from 0.27 (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 rose two basis points to 3.76%, with points decreasing to 0.30 from 0.32 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year FRMs went to 3.19% from 3.18%, with points decreasing to 0.30 from 0.34 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs fell six basis points to 3.07%, with points increasing to 0.38 from 0.36 (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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