Mortgage-loan application volume slipped 0.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis the week ended Dec. 3, according to a weekly survey released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association.
The refinance index fell 1.4% from the previous week to post its fourth consecutive decline and is at its lowest level since June. The purchase index rose a third straight week, climbing 1.8% to its highest level since May.
The four-week moving average for the market index fell 8%, the four-week purchase index grew 2.8%, and the four-week refinance index plunged 10.9%.
Refinancings accounted for 75.2% of all mortgage applications, up from 74.9% the previous week. Adjustable-rate mortgages claimed a 5.6% share of applications, down from 5.7%. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to 4.66% from 4.56%, while 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 3.98% from 3.91%.
"Mortgage activity slipped in the latest week [and] remains very sensitive to changes in mortgage rates," said Steven Wood, chief economist at Insight Economics. "Purchase activity is still well below its tax-credit fueled April level and is just above its lowest level of the past 15 years. Refinancing activity fell in the latest week and has decreased significantly over the past two months as mortgage rates have been trending higher."