Mortgage applications were up for the third consecutive week, according to Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) data tracking activity for the week ending Dec. 7.
The Market Composite Index increased by 1.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier
, although the unadjusted index was down by one percent. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased by three percent from one week earlier
and the unadjusted index dipped by two percent—although the latter was four percent higher than the same week one year ago. The unadjusted Refinance Index increased by two percent from the previous week as the refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 41.5 percent of total applications, the highest level since March, from 40.4 percent the previous week.
Among the federal program, the FHA share of total applications increased to 10.8 percent from 10.2 percent the week prior while the VA share of total applications increased to 10.2 percent from 10 percent and the USDA share of total applications increased to 0.7 percent from 0.6 percent.
"Mortgage rates fell across the board last week, driven by a similar slide in Treasuries," said MBA Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting Joel Kan. "Trade fears dominated investors' concerns for another week, and this was amplified by data released by the U.S. Commerce Department showing a widening trade deficit."