Applications for mortgages in the U.S. fell 2.4 percent for the week ending April 6, according to weekly data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. As has been the case for much of the last two months, a drop in refinance applications powered the decline, as they fell 3.1 percent. Applications for mortgages for home purchases stumbled 0.5 percent. The four week moving average for mortgage purchase applications is up 2.19 percent, while its down 3.45 percent for refinances.
As a result, the refinance share of mortgage activity decreased for the eighth consecutive week, as it comprised 70.5 percent of applications for the week ending April 6.
In March, 8.3 percent of mortgage applications were for investment properties, up from 7.4 percent in February 2012, however much of that activity can be attributed to investors refinancing their properties, as the share of purchase applications for such homes decreased to 40 basis points to 5.7 percent.
Interest rates for mortgages fell across the board last week. The rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming balances decreased to 4.10 percent from 4.16 percent, while rates for similar mortgages with jumbo loan balances decreased to 4.43 percent from 4.46 percent. FHA-backed, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates declined two basis points to 3.87 percent. Finally, 15-year fixed-rate mortgages tumbled to 3.37 percent from 3.40 percent. — Adam Fusfeld