Overall mortgage application activity subsided last week amid mixed interest rates, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today in its weekly survey.

The market composite index, a measure of home loan application volume, sank 0.8 percent, falling to 675.5 on a seasonally adjusted basis from 680.7 one week earlier. New purchase loans were down 1.4 percent from the previous week, while the index that tracks refinancings inched up slightly.

Borrowing costs varied last week, with the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rising to 6.13 percent from 6.1 percent, the 15-year fixed rate down from 5.82 percent to 5.81 percent, and the one-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) sinking from 5.71 percent to 5.61 percent.

Points, which are loan-processing fees expressed as a percent of the total loan amount, averaged 1.47 on the 30-year loans, 1.35 on the 15-year, and 1.13 on one-year ARMs. Statistics, which include the origination fee, are based on loan-to-value ratios of 80 percent.

According to the MBA, the refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 42.1 percent of total applications from 41.8 percent the previous week, and the ARM share decreased to 17.4 percent from 18 percent the week before.

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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