NEW YORK - Mortgage applications decreased 0.3% from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Feb. 24. This week's results are adjusted for the Presidents Day holiday.

The refinance index decreased 2.2% from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased 8.2%.

The four-week moving average for the seasonally adjusted market index is up 0.33%. The four-week moving average is down 0.96% for the seasonally adjusted purchase index, while this average is up 0.64% for the refinance index.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 77.9% of total applications from 80.1% the previous week. This is the lowest refinance share since December 2, and the first time the measure has fallen below 80% since December 9. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 5.0% from 5.3% of total applications from the previous week.

"Mortgage rates remained near survey lows last week, but refinance volume fell slightly," said Michael Fratantoni, Vice President of Research and Economics at the Mortgage Bankers Association. Fratantoni continued, "According to survey participants, more than 20 percent of refinance applications were for HARP loans. The HARP share of total refinance applications has increased over the past month. Purchase application volume increased over the week, but remains within the narrow and anemic range of activity we have seen since the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit in May 2010."

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) decreased to 4.07% from 4.09%.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.36% from 3.38%.

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