Despite a drop in interest rates last week, overall mortgage applications fell 1.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week before, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased by 2.3 percent to 393.6 from 403 the previous week, whereas the refinance index decreased by 0.6 percent to 1,574.5 from 1,583.6 one week earlier.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 38.1 percent of total applications from 37.7 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate-mortgage share of activity decreased to 28.3 percent of total applications from 28.8 percent the previous week. 

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 6.31 percent from 6.42 percent. Points including the origination fee decreased to 1.13 from 1.14 for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans. 

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 5.99 percent from 6.06 percent. Points including the origination fee decreased to 1.09 from 1.19 for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans. 

The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs increased to 5.68 percent from 5.64 percent. Points including the origination fee decreased to 0.86 at 0.96 for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans. 

Washington, D.C.-based Mortgage Bankers Association is a national association representing the real estate finance industry. The 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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