As rates climb, U.S. mortgage applications fall

October 24, 2012 08:30AM

Mortgage applications decreased 12 percent during the week ending October 19, the Mortgage Bankers Association announced today. The MBA measures mortgage loan application volume on a seasonally adjusted basis. On an unadjusted basis, application dropped 2 percent compared with the previous week.

The Refinance Index also decreased 13 percent — reaching its lowest level since late August — and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index fell 8 percent from one week earlier. Unadjusted, the Purchase Index increased 2 percent from last week, and was 7 percent higher year-over-year. The share of refinancing activity decreased to 81 percent of total applications, compared to 82 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 3.63 percent from 3.57 percent — the third consecutive week of increase, pushing rates to their highest level since late September. Jumbo loans increased to 3.85 percent from 3.81 percent. Rates for Federal Housing Administration-backed 30-year fixed-rate loans increased to 3.41 percent from 3.34 percent and 15-year fixed-rate loan rates increased to 2.96 percent from 2.87 percent. — Christopher Cameron