Mortgage loan applications during the week ending Oct. 17 fell a seasonally adjusted 16.6 percent from a week earlier, even as interest rates on fixed-rate loans came down some from recent highs, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.

The MBA’s Weekly Applications Survey — which included an adjustment to account for the Columbus Day Holiday — was down 44 percent from the same week a year ago.

Applications for refinancings fell 23.5 percent from the previous week, while purchase loan applications were off 10.9 percent from week-to-week. Applications for government backed purchase loans — largely FHA — was off 11.9 percent, while applications for conventional purchase loans fell 10.5 percent from a week ago.

Applications for refinancings accounted for 42.6 percent of total applications, down from 46.4 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 2.7 percent from 2.6 percent of total applications from the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 6.28 percent from 6.47 percent, with points including the origination fee decreasing to 1.09 from 1.14 for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 6.05 percent from 6.17 percent, with points decreasing to 1.11 from 1.18

The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs increased to 6.97 percent from 6.67 percent, with points decreasing to 0.4 from 0.43 for 80 percent LTV loans.

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