Falling interest rates last week weren’t enough to sustain home purchases and refinancings, as overall mortgage application volume declined, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today.

The market composite index, a measure of home loan application volume, dropped 5.2 percent last week, falling to 606.6 on a seasonally adjusted basis from 639.8 one week earlier.

The index that tracks refinancings was down 5.4 percent, cutting the refi share of mortgage activity last week down to 44.9 percent. The purchase index saw a 4.8 percent decline, and has now fallen for three weeks in a row.

Borrowing costs were mostly lower last week, with the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages slipping to 6.19 percent and the rate on 15-year fixed-rate loans sinking to 5.88 percent. The average one-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) rate inched up to 5.81 percent.

Points, which are loan-processing fees expressed as a percent of the total loan amount, averaged 0.88 on the 30-year loans, 1.03 on the 15-year, and 0.88 on one-year ARMs. Statistics are based on loan-to-value ratios of 80 percent.

The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity remained unchanged at 21.2 percent of total applications from the previous week.

The Mortgage Bankers Association survey covers approximately 50 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage originations, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts.

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