Mortgage application activity increases during holiday week

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Mortgage application activity increased by 5.8% during the week of Feb. 24, benefitting from a six basis point decline in the 30-year fixed-rate loan.

Purchase application volume was up 7% from last week on an adjusted basis according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Application Survey. On an unadjusted basis, it was down 1% from last week and down 5% from the year before.

This week's data was adjusted to include the Presidents' Day holiday.

Refinance applications increased by 5% to their highest level since December. However, the share of refi apps continues to decrease, down to 45.1% from 46.2% for the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity was unchanged at 7.3%, while the Federal Housing Administration share increased to 12.3% from 11.6% the week prior.

The share of Veteran's Administration loans applications decreased to 11.7% from 12.1% last week and the U.S. Department of Agriculture share was unchanged at 0.9%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) decreased 6 basis points to 4.30%. Rates for jumbo 30-year FRMs (greater than $424,100) also fell 6 basis points to 4.23%.

The average contract interest rate for FHA-insured mortgages decreased 7 basis points to 4.07%, while for 15-year FRMs, the rate decreased by 5 basis points to 3.51%.

However, the average contract interest rate for the 5/1 ARM increased by 4 basis points to 3.35% from 3.31%.

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