Mortgage application volume fell 2.7% on an adjusted basis last week as rates held more or less steady, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.
Applications for refinances decreased 3%, while applications for purchases decreased 2%.
On an unadjusted basis, total volume decreased 2% compared with the previous week. Applications for purchases decreased 2%, on an unadjusted basis, compared with the previous week but were 5% higher compared with the same week one year earlier.
The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 45.1% of total applications, down from 45.6% the previous week.
Interestingly, the decrease in volume came as mortgage rates more or less leveled off after two consecutive weeks of increases. During the week ended March 17, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) was 4.46%, unchanged compared with the previous week, according to the MBA’s data.
The average rate for a 30-year jumbo FRM was 4.40%, down from 4.44%.
The average rate for a 30-year FRM backed by the Federal Housing Administration was 4.33% – up from 4.29% to reach its highest level since January 2014.
The average rate for a 15-year FRM was 3.68%, up from 3.66%.
The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) was 3.41%, up from 3.45%.
Inexplicably, the ARM share of activity increased to 9.0% of total applications, the highest level since October 2014.