PhotoAfter falling for three consecutive weeks, applications for mortgages have moved higher.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reports applications were up 1.5% in the week ending April 7 from the week before.

The Refinance Index was unchanged from the previous week, with the refinance share of mortgage activity falling to 41.6% of total applications -- the lowest level since September 2008 -- from 42.6% a week earlier. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity was unchanged at 8.5%.

The average loan size for purchase applications reached a survey high of $318,700.

The FHA share of total applications dropped to 10.7% from 11.1% the previous week, the VA share rose to 11.3% from 11.1% a week earlier, and the USDA share of total applications was unchanged 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) was down six basis points -- to 4.28% from 4.34%, with points increasing to 0.38 from 0.31 (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) was unchanged at 4.24%, with points increasing to 0.28 from 0.24 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year FRMs backed by the FHA dipped to 4.14% from 4.15%, with points decreasing to 0.29 from 0.32 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year FRMs fell six basis points to 3.51%, with points decreasing to 0.35 from 0.38 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs was steady at 3.33%, with points increasing to 0.17 from 0.13 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

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


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