Mortgage application volume increased 0.1% on an adjusted basis during the week ended Feb. 27, compared to the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.
The slight increase comes after several consecutive weeks of falling volume, perhaps due in part to harsh winter conditions in the Northeast and other parts of the country. Application volume fell 13.2% during the week ended Feb. 13, however, that included the President's Day holiday. That was preceded by a nearly 50% increase in volume in the first week of January.
On an unadjusted basis, application volume increased 12% compared with the previous week.
Applications for refinances increased 1% from the previous week while applications for purchases fell 0.2%.
On an unadjusted basis, applications for purchases increased 14% and were down 0.2% compared to the same week one year ago.
Applications for conventional refinances increased 2.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The refinance share of mortgage activity remained unchanged at 62% of total applications from the previous week.
The drop in volume in February came even as mortgage rates hit new lows. As of two weeks ago, rates appeared to be back on the rise – however, according to the MBA, as of last week they ticked back down again.
For the week ended Feb. 27, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) was 3.96%, down from 3.99% the previous week.
The average rate for a 30-year FRM with jumbo loan balance (greater than $417,000) was 3.95%, down from 4.09% the previous week.
The average rate for 30-year FRM backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was 3.76%, down from 3.82%.
The average rate for a 15-year FRM was 3.27%, down from 3.28%.
The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) was 3.05%, a significant drop from 3.28%.
The ARM share of activity increased to 5.4% of total applications.
Looking at volume by loan type, applications for mortgages backed by the FHA represented 14.6% of all applications, down from 15.3% the previous week. Applications for Veterans Affairs mortgages represented 9.8% of all loans, up from 9.6% the previous week. Applications for mortgages through the U.S. Department of Agriculture were 0.8% of all applications, down from 0.9%.