U.S. mortgage applications down

October 17, 2012 08:30AM

Mortgage applications decreased 4.2 percent during the week ending October 12, the Mortgage Bankers Association announced today. The MBA measures mortgage loan application volume on a seasonally adjusted basis, which this week included an adjustment to account for the Columbus Day holiday. On an unadjusted basis, application dropped 14 percent compared with the previous week.

The Refinance Index also decreased 5 percent, while the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 1 percent from one week earlier. Unadjusted, the Purchase Index decreased 9 percent from last week, but was still 12 percent higher year-over-year. The share of refinancing activity decreased to 82 percent of total applications, compared to 83 percent the prior week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity held at 4 percent of applications.

Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans with conforming balances rose  to 3.57 percent from 3.56 percent, while jumbo loans increased to 3.81 percent from 3.74 percent. Rates for Federal Housing Administration-backed 30-year fixed-rate loans stayed at 3.34 percent and 15-year fixed-rate loan rates decreased to 2.87 percent from 2.88 percent.