Mortgage application activity overall was essentially unchanged as slightly higher purchase activity was offset by a dip in refinancing.
For the week ending April 27, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported that the Purchase Index increased 2.9% to 191 as borrowers respond to historically attractive affordability levels.
Meanwhile, the Refinance Index held in the 3700 area, declining 0.7% to ~3690 while the refinancing share as a percent of total applications decreased as well to 72.6% from 73.4%.
For the month of April, refinancing activity averaged 1.6% lower than in March despite mortgage rates averaging six basis points lower to 3.91%.
This will filter into the May and June prepayment reports (released in June and July, respectively) where speeds on conventional MBS are currently expected to increase less than 5% on average overall with a higher day count a contributing factor, while June is seen as flat to slightly slower on a lower number of collection days.
Mortgage rates remained near historical lows. For example, the contract rate for 30-year fixed rate conforming loans averaged 4.05%, up one basis point from last week's record low. Federal Housing Administration rates, however, moved to a new low of 3.80% from 3.81% previously.