Mortgage applications increased 1.7 percent for the week ending May 4, according to weekly data released today by the Mortgage Bankers Associations, as more homeowners and home buyers dipped into the private mortgage market. Applications for mortgages for purchases ticked up 3.4 percent behind a 5.4 percent increase in activity in the so-called “conventional,” or non-government affiliated market. Similarly, even though activity in the government-backed refinance market has decreased 2.3 percent, overall refinances actually jumped 1.3 percent.
Refinances accounted for 72.1 percent of total applications last week, down from 72.6 percent a week earlier, according to the report.
Mortgage rates fell across the board last week, except for FHA-backed loans, whose rates increased just as government mortgage activity declined.
Average interest rates for 30-year-fixed rate mortgages with conforming loan balances fell to 4.01 percent from 4.05 percent, while rates for jumbo loan balances dropped to 4.29 percent from 4.32 percent and 15-year fixed-rate mortgage interest rates slid to 3.29 percent from 3.31 percent. On the other hand, FHA-backed 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose one basis point to 3.81 percent. — Adam Fusfeld