After falling 2.3% the previous week, mortgage application volume gained it back, increasing 2.3% on an adjusted basis during the week ended April 17, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.
On an unadjusted basis, application volume increased 3% compared with the previous week.
Applications for refinances increased 1% while applications for purchases increased 5% to reach the highest level since June 2013.
On an unadjusted basis, applications for purchases increased 6% compared with the previous week and were 16% higher compared to the same week one year ago.
In a release, Mike Fratantoni, chief economist for the MBA, points out that mortgage application volume increased four of the five preceding weeks.
However, the rate of increase has slowed somewhat since early March.
The increase in applications for purchases is encouraging as we are now entering the peak of the spring home buying season.
The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 56% of total applications, its lowest level since October 2014, from 58% the previous week.
Fixed mortgage rates, meanwhile, continued to hold at below 4%. The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) with conforming loan balance ($417,000 or less) was 3.83%, down from 3.87% the previous week.
The average rate for a 30-year FRM with jumbo loan balance (greater than $417,000) was 3.83%, down slightly from 3.84%.
The average rate for a 30-year FRM backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was 3.65%, down from 3.67%.
The average rate for a 15-year FRM was 3.11%, down from 3.16%.
The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) was 2.89%, down from 2.82%.
The ARM share of activity increased to 5.5% of total applications.
Looking at volume by loan type, applications for mortgages backed by the FHA represented 13.6% of all applications, up from 13.5% the previous week. Applications for Veterans Affairs mortgages represented 11.0% of all loans, down from 11.1% the previous week. Applications for mortgages through the U.S. Department of Agriculture remained unchanged at 0.8%.
All rates are based on closings. The survey covers over 75% of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications.