Mortgage applications decrease nationwide

August 24, 2011 08:26AM

Mortgage applications decreased 2.4 percent nationwide for the week ending Aug. 19, according to weekly data from the Mortgage Bankers Association released today. Refinancings also decreased 1.7 percent from the previous week.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 79.8 percent of total applications from 78.9 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased week-over-week to 6.2 percent from 5.8 percent of total applications.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.39 percent from 4.32 percent, while the average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.56 percent from 3.37 percent.

“Another week of volatile markets and rampant uncertainty regarding the economy kept prospective homebuyers on the sidelines, with purchase applications falling to a 15-year low,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s vice president of research and economics. “This decline impacted borrowers across the board, with purchase applications for jumbo loans falling by more than 15 percent, and purchase applications for the government housing programs falling by 8.2 percent.” — Katherine Clarke