Refi application share reaches highest point since January

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The share of new refinance mortgage applications reached its highest point since January, but overall activity fell compared with the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Dec. 8 found that mortgage application volume fell 2.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week.

The refinance index fell 3% from the previous week, although the refinance application share increased to 52.4% from 51.6% over the same period.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index declined 1% from one week earlier. The unadjusted purchase index fell 6% compared with the previous week and was 10% higher than the same week one year ago.

Adjustable-rate loan application activity decreased to 5.6% from 5.7%, while the share of Federal Housing Administration-insured loans increased to 11.8% from 11.1%.

The share of applications for Veterans Affairs-guaranteed loans decreased to 10.3% from 10.7% and the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Rural Development share fell to 0.7% from 0.8% for the prior week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) increased 1 basis point to 4.20%. For 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,100), the average contract rate decreased 5 basis points to 4.11%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased 2 basis points to 4.13%, its highest level since April. For 15-year fixed-rate mortgages the average increased 2 basis points to 3.61%, the highest since March. The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased 6 basis points to 3.42%.

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