Mortgage applications rise slightly, refinancings stumble

U.S. mortgage applications increased 0.2 percent for the week ending Oct. 21, according to weekly data from the Mortgage Bankers Association released today, on a seasonally adjusted basis. Unadjusted, mortgage applications remained the same from the previous week. The four week moving average for mortgage applications in down 2.5 percent.

Refinancings, which are not seasonally adjusted, decreased by 0.2 percent, also rebounding from a double-digit decline.

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The refinance share of mortgage decreased to 77.1 percent of total applications from 77.3 percent the prior week, while the adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity fell one-hundredth of a percentage point to 5.8 percent.

Mortgage rates underwent just slight changes compared to the previous week. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances (less than $417,500 under a new law) decreased to 4.31 percent from 4.33 percent, while jumbo loans increased to 4.69 percent from 4.68 percent. For FHA-backed 30-year fixed-rate mortgages the average rate fell by two basis points to 4.09 percent. Meanwhile, the average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased slightly to 3.63 percent from 3.62 percent. — Adam Fusfeld