The seasonally adjusted purchase index is up 15% from the previous week and when compared with the same week last year on an unadjusted basis, it is 17% higher.
The MBA’s Refinance Index, which is not adjusted, is also up 15% from the previous week. The share of refi applications remained at 77%.
Quicken Loans chief economist Bob Walters said, “With low housing inventories, home prices are seeing a modest boost and are spending less time on the market. All of these indicators point to a healing housing market.”
Zillow, which tracks mortgage rates on a real time basis, noted a big drop in the middle of last week due to questions stemming from the Italian elections and the sequester.
The average contract rate for the 30-year conforming FRM (MBA defines this as a loan with a balance of $417,500 or under) decreased seven basis points to 3.7%. Federal Housing Administration-insured loans had an average contract rate for the week of 3.47%, also a decline of seven basis points from the week of Feb. 22.
Jumbo 30-year FRMs saw its average contract rate decline 13 basis points to 3.8%. The MBA said the rate for the 15-year FRM declined by seven basis points to 2.96%.
The share of adjustable-rate mortgages remains at 4% of the week’s loan applications; the average contract rate for the 5/1 ARM fell 10 basis points to 2.1%.