Mortgage applications in the U.S. fell for a second straight week ended April 1., despite mortgage interest rates remaining flat.
The total loan applications index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, declined 2 percent on a seasonally-adjusted basis from a week earlier, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said on Wednesday.
The refinancing index fell 6.2 percent from a week earlier, to hit the lowest level since February 25, 2011.
“Rates were flat last week, but refinance activity fell, as the pool of borrowers who have both the incentive and the ability to qualify for a refinance continues to shrink,” said Michael Fratantoni, vice president of research and economics at MBA.
However, the purchasing index increased 6.7 percent to its highest level of the year.
“Purchase application volume increased last week reaching the highest level of the year, but remains relatively low by historical standards, at levels last seen in 1997,” said Fratantoni. “The increase last week was due to a sharp increase in applications for government loans. Borrowers were likely motivated to apply before a scheduled increase in Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insurance premiums that became effective last Friday.”
The average contract interest rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgage increased to 4.93 percent from 4.92 percent in the previous week, while the 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 4.14 percent from 4.16 percent.