The total number of mortgage applications filed in the U.S. for the week ending June 24 fell 2.7 percent even as interest rates dropped for both 15- and 30-year fixed-rate loans, according to the latest weekly statistics from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The largest decline was seen in the number of applications for new purchases, which slipped 3 percent, but was still 4.5 percent higher than it was in the same week last year. Meanwhile, the number of applications for refinances dropped 2.6 percent.
Despite the declines, the four-week moving average for the total home loan market is still up 0.7 percent, led by a 1.5 percent increase in refinances, the report said. Conversely, purchases are down 1.5 percent. In addition, the refinance share of the mortgage market rebounded this week, increasing to 69.5 percent from the 69.2 percent observed last week.
During the week, the average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate loans fell to 4.46 percent, down from 4.57 percent in the week prior, the report said. Similarly, rates for 15-year fixed loans dipped to 3.64 percent from 3.7 percent.
These changes were somewhat surprising given that consumers tend to become more interested in refinancing their existing home loans when mortgage interest rates decline.