Purchase applications for home mortgages fell a seasonally adjusted 1 percent in the June 16 week, putting the unadjusted purchase index 9 percent above the level in the same week a year ago. Refinancing applications rose 2 percent from the prior week to the highest level since November, with the refinance share of mortgage activity increasing by 1.2 percentage points to 46.6 percent. The average interest rate on 30-year fixed rate conforming mortgages ($424,000 or less) remained unchanged from the prior week at 4.13 percent, the lowest level since November. Regardless the weekly seasonally adjusted decline in purchase applications, which continues last week's pullback from the June 2 week when the purchase index attained the highest level since November 2009, the current 9 percent year-on-year gain indicates that prospective home buyers have been exceptionally active in June.
The robust purchase application activity reported by the MBA in recent weeks suggests that the housing market is coming back strongly after first quarter strength sagged substantially in April and May. Existing home sales, to be released later today, is expected to confirm the weakness seen in the previously released housing data for May, last week's disappointing housing starts report, showing starts declining 5.5 percent from the prior month and permits falling 4.9 percent.