Another sizeable drop in refinancings last week sent overall mortgage application volume down for the fourth week in a row, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today.

The market composite index, a measure of home loan applications, dipped 0.4 percent, falling to 646.6 on a seasonally adjusted basis from 649.5 the week before.

While refinancings fell 4 percent, the index that tracks home purchases rose 2.7 percent from the end of March, giving purchase loans a 38.5 percent share of the market, MBA reported. The refi and adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) shares of activity fell to 42.8 percent and 18.7 percent, respectively.

Borrowing costs across all loan types increased for the second consecutive week, with the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rising to 6.16 percent from 6.13 percent, the 15-year fixed rate up from 5.85 percent to 5.91 percent, and the one-year ARM rate gaining from 5.87 percent to 5.88 percent.

Points, which are loan-processing fees expressed as a percent of the total loan amount, averaged 1.39 on the 30-year loans, 1.15 on the 15-year, and 0.75 on one-year ARMs. Statistics, which include the origination fee, are based on loan-to-value ratios of 80 percent.

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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