Mortgage applications in the U.S. continued to fall, declining 1.6 percent last week, seasonally adjusted, from a week earlier. The decline in mortgage applications reflect low refinance activity after the significant increase in interest rates following the U.S. Presidential election.

According to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association, the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, for the week ending March 31 decreased 1.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.

The Refinance Index decreased 4 percent from a week ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 42.6 percent of total applications from 44.0 percent last week, which was the lowest figure in more than eight years.

The adjustable-rate mortgage or ARM share of activity remained unchanged at 8.5 percent of total applications.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index rose 1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index rose 1 percent compared with the prior week and was 8 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The Federal Housing Administration’s share of total applications rose to 11.1 percent from 10.8 percent last week.

The Veteran Affairs’ share of total applications increased to 11.1 percent from 11.0 percent in the prior week, while the United States Department of Agriculture’s share of total applications remained unchanged at 1.0 percent from the prior week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances decreased to 4.34 percent from 4.33 percent. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances decreased to 4.26 percent from 4.40 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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