Mortgage applications were down 11 percent for the week ending April 10, although the long weekend created by the holidays Easter and Passover may have been a contributor, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.

Applications for refinance loans were down 10.9 percent from the week before, while applications for purchase loans fell 11.3 percent. Applications for conventional purchase loans were down 13.5 percent, and applications for government-backed loans (largely FHA) fell 7.7 percent.

The measurements of application volume in the MBA’s weekly Mortgage Application Survey include a seasonal adjustment, but were not adjusted for the long holiday weekend, which may have contributed to the decrease in application volume.

Demand for refinancings has soared in recent weeks, as borrowers seek to take advantage of low interest rates (see story). On an unadjusted basis, mortgage applications were up 45.6 percent last week from a year ago.

Applications for refinance loans accounted for 77.8 percent of all applications, essentially unchanged from the week before. A year ago, refinance applications accounted for only 53.5 percent of mortgage applications.

Although interest rates were down on loans tracked by the survey, points charged by lenders rose.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.7 percent from 4.73 percent, with points increasing to 1.23 from 1.03 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.46 percent from 4.49 percent, with points increasing to 1.04 from 0.93 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

The average contract interest rate for one-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans decreased to 6.21 percent from 6.23 percent, with points increasing to 0.15 from 0.14 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

Applications for ARM loans accounted for 1.5 percent of total applications, unchanged from the previous week. A year ago, 6 percent of applications were for ARM loans.


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