Mortgage activity declines over the week

Mortgage applications fell by 1.9 percent for the week that ended March 12, ending a two-week uptick in loan volume, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association released today.

Refinancing applications were down 1.7 percent from the week earlier, while applications for purchases dropped 2.3 percent. The market share of adjustable-rate mortgages fell to 4.6 percent from 5.1 percent of total applications in the week-ago period. Refinancings accounted for 67.3 percent of mortgage activity, up slightly from 67.2 percent during the week before.

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Meanwhile, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased from 5.01 percent to 4.91 percent, its lowest rate since mid-December 2009. The increase in points from 0.82 to 1.30 during the week, however, meant the effective interest rate was unchanged.

The average interest rate for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also hit a record-low 4.24 percent, down from 4.32 percent one week ago, but since points increased from 0.88 to 1.47, the effective interest rate was up over last week. TRD