Rising interest rates pushed home loan application volume down a seasonally adjusted 4.6 percent last week from one week earlier, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today.

Overall application volume has now fallen for two straight weeks, impacted by another substantial decline in refinance activity, which dropped 8.9 percent last week and overshadowed the 0.1 percent gain in the index that tracks purchase loans.

Interest rates across all loan types were higher last week, MBA reported, as average rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose from 5.9 percent to 5.96 percent; rates on 15-year fixed loans gained from 5.42 percent to 5.49 percent; and rates on one-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) climbed from 6.71 percent to 6.92 percent.

The points (loan fees expressed as a percent of the loan amount) that borrowers paid to attain these rates were mixed last week. Points on 15-year loans gained from 1.14 to 1.15 and increased from 1.35 to 1.42 on one-year ARMs while dipping from 1.12 to 1.11 on 30-year loans.

According to MBA, the refinance share of applications decreased to 46.1 percent last week from 48.2 percent the previous week. The ARM share during that period dipped from 10 percent to 9.3 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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