PhotoAnother increase in applications for mortgages -- the third straight.

Data from the Mortgage Bankers Association show applications were up 3.1% from a week earlier in the week ending March 10.

There was even better news for the Refinance Index, which rose 4%, increasing the refinance share of activity to 45.6% of total applications from 45.4% the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity was the highest since October 2014 at 8.2% of total applications; the FHA share fell to 11.1% from 11.8%; the VA share dropped from 11.6% to 11.1%; and the USDA share 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) jumped 10 basis points -- from 4.36% to 4.46% -- its highest level since April 2014, with points decreasing to 0.37 from 0.44 (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 $424,100) soared 17 basis points to 4.44%, its highest level since April 2014, with points increasing to 0.28 from 0.26 (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 rose to its highest level since January 2014 -- 4.29% from 4.18% -- with points increasing to 0.39 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 from 3.57% to 3.66%, with points increasing to 0.45 from 0.36 (including the origination fee) for 80 % LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs dipped three basis points to 3.45%, with points increasing to 0.24 from 0.20 (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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