There was more activity on the mortgage application front, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) covering the week ending Feb. 22.
The Market Composite Index increased 5.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, although the unadjusted index was down by three percent compared with the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased six percent from one week earlier, while the unadjusted index dipped by one percent—although the latter was also three percent higher than the same week one year ago. The Refinance Index increased five percent from the previous week, but the refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 40.4 percent of total applications from 41.7 percent the previous week.
Among the federal programs, the FHA share of total applications remained unchanged from 10.2 percent during the week prior while the VA share of total applications increased to 10.7 percent from 10.1 percent and the USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.6 percent from 0.7 percent.
“Mortgage rates were little changed last week, but as we anticipated, homebuyers are responding favorably to this more stable rate environment,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Purchase applications for both conventional and government loans rose last week, with the government gain led by a 14 percent increase in applications for VA purchase loans. Refinance application volume increased as well, with the index reaching its highest level in a month. Borrowers with larger loans tend to be more responsive for a given drop in rates, and competition for these loans is fierce. Therefore, it was not surprising to see the average rate for a 30-year fixed jumbo loan drop to its lowest level since January 2018.”