PhotoMortgage applications shot up 5.8% in the week ending February 24 after falling the previous week, according to the latest survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The results include an adjustment for the Presidents’ Day holiday.

The Refinance Index jumped 5% from a week earlier to its highest level since December, although the refinance share of mortgage activity fell to 45.1% of total applications -- the lowest level since November 2008.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity was unchanged at 7.3% of total applications, the FHA share rose to 12.3% from 11.6%, the VA share fell to 11.7%, and the USDA share of total applications was unchanged at 0.9%.

Contract interest rates

  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) fell to 4.30% from 4.36%, with points increasing to 0.38 from 0.35 (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 down six basis points -- to 4.23% from 4.29% -- with points decreasing to 0.25 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 went from 4.14% to 4.07%, with points increasing to 0.37 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 dipped five basis points to 3.51%, with points unchanged at 0.36 (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 3.35% from 3.31%, with points decreasing to 0.29 from 0.31 (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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