Mortgage applications decreased by 0.4% and were down for the fifth straight week, as key interest rates also fell slightly, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
"Mortgage rates dipped slightly last week driven mainly by concerns about global growth," Joel Kan, the MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said in a press release. "Application activity was little changed last week; both purchase and refinance applications declined slightly, even as rates took a pause in their upward trend. The refinance index continued to slip and was at its lowest since 2008, as was the refinance share of applications."
The MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 4 found that the refinance index decreased by 1% from the previous week to its lowest level since October 2008. The refinance share of application activity decreased to 36.3% from 36.5% the previous week.
The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased 0.2% from one week earlier. The unadjusted purchase index increased 0.4% compared with the previous week and was 3% higher than the same week one year ago.
The market composite index decreased 0.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.
Adjustable-rate loan activity decreased to 6.5% of total applications, while the share of Federal Housing Administration-guaranteed loans decreased to 10.1% from 10.3% the week prior.
The share of applications for Veterans Affairs-guaranteed loans increased to 10.4% from 10.2% and the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Rural Development share decreased to 0.7% from 0.8% the week prior.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($453,100 or less) decreased 2 basis points to 4.78%. For 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $453,100), the average contract rate decreased 4 basis points to 4.65%.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased 1 basis point to 4.8%. For 15-year fixed-rate mortgages the average rate decreased 1 basis point to 4.2%. The average contract interest rate for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages decreased 3 basis points to 4%.