Start to holiday season slows mortgage application activity

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Mortgage application volume decreased 3.1% from one week earlier as the start of the holiday shopping season likely slowed activity, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Nov. 24 found that the refinance index decreased 8% from the previous week. This week's results include an adjustment for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The refinance application share decreased to 48.7% from 49.9% the previous week.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased 2% from one week earlier. The unadjusted purchase index decreased 32% compared with the previous week and was 6% higher than the same week one year ago.

The market composite index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 3.1% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.

Adjustable-rate loan application activity decreased to 6.2% from 6.5%, while the share of Federal Housing Administration-guaranteed loans increased to 10.8% from 10.6%.

The share of applications for Veterans Affairs-guaranteed loans increased to 11% from 10.7% 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 4.2%. For 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,100), the average contract rate decreased 2 basis points to 4.14%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased 1 basis point to 4.07%, while for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages the average increased 1 basis point to 3.57%. The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.42% from 3.31%.

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