Mortgage applications decreased during holiday season

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Mortgage application volume decreased 2.8% during the last two weeks of 2017, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Dec. 29 found that the refinance index decreased 7% from two weeks ago. The results include adjustments to account for the Christmas holiday.

The refinance application share increased to 52% from 51.8% the previous week.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased 1% from two weeks earlier. The unadjusted purchase index decreased 40% compared with two weeks ago and was 3% higher than the same week one year ago.

The market composite index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 2.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis from two weeks earlier.

Changes in the indices were calculated for a two-week period. But rate and loan type activity change data covers just a one week period.

Adjustable-rate loan application activity decreased to 5.3% of total applications, while the share of Federal Housing Administration-guaranteed loans increased to 10.4% from 10.3% the week prior.

The share of applications for Veterans Affairs-guaranteed loans increased to 11.2% from 10.6% and the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Rural Development share increased to 0.8% from 0.7%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) remained unchanged from the week prior at 4.25%. For 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,100), the average contract rate decreased to 4.13% from 4.21%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased 2 basis points to 4.17%, while for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages the average decreased 1 basis point to 3.65%. The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.4% from 3.56%.

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