According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 23, the Market Composite Index decreased 2.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 1.9 percent compared with the previous week.
The Refinance Index decreased 8.8 percent from the previous week, while the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 7.4 percent from one week earlier and reached its highest level since October 2009. The increase in the purchase index was driven largely by the government purchase index, which increased 11.9 percent from last week on a seasonally adjusted basis, while the conventional purchase index increased 3.5 percent from last week. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 8.5 percent compared with the previous week and was 2.4 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
"Purchase activity continues to increase as we approach the end of the homebuyer tax credit program," said Michael Fratantoni, MBA's Vice President of Research and Economics. "Purchase applications were up almost 9 percent from a month ago, with a disproportionate share of the increase due to government purchase applications. Government applications for purchasing a home accounted for almost 49 percent of all purchase applications last week."
The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is down 3.1 percent. The four week moving average is up 1.6 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, while this average is down 5.8 percent for the Refinance Index.
The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 55.7 percent of total applications from 60.0 percent the previous week. The refinance share is at its lowest since August 2009. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity remained unchanged at 6.0 percent of total applications from the previous week.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.08 percent from 5.04 percent, with points decreasing to 0.91 from 0.98 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.
The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.38 percent from 4.34 percent, with points decreasing to 0.93 from 0.98 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.
The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs increased to 7.03 percent from 6.95 percent, with points increasing to 0.3 from 0.28 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.