Mortgage application volume decreased 4.9% from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Dec. 15 found that the refinance index decreased 3% from the previous week.

The refinance application share increased to 53.9%, its highest level since December 2016, from 52.4% the previous week.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased 6% from one week earlier. The unadjusted purchase index decreased 9% compared with the previous week and was 1% higher than the same week one year ago.

Refinance mortgage applications soar

The market composite index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 4.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.

Adjustable-rate loan application activity remained unchanged at 5.6%, while the share of Federal Housing Administration-guaranteed loans decreased to 11.3% from 11.8% the week prior.

The share of applications for Veterans Affairs-guaranteed loans increased to 10.9% from 10.3% and the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Rural Development share remained unchanged at 0.7 percent%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) decreased 4 basis points to 4.16%. For 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,100), the average contract rate increased 3 basis points to 4.14%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased 2 basis points to 4.11%, while for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages the average decreased 1 basis point to 3.6%. The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased 7 basis points to 3.49%.

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