The Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly application survey stated that mortgage application volume dropped 22.6 % during the week ending Feb. 15 as most interest rates grew.
The MBA's mortgage application index fell to 822.8 for the week, from 1,063.5 during the previous week.
Refinance volume tumbled 27.9 % during the week, while purchase volume fell 11.5 %. Refinance applications accounted for 61.7 % of total applications.
The index peaked at 1,856.7 during the week ending May 30, 2003, at the height of the housing boom.
An index value of 100 equals to the application volume on March 16, 1990, the first week the MBA tracked application volume. A reading of 822.8 means mortgage application activity is 8.228 times higher than it was when the MBA began tracking the data.
The survey gives a snapshot of mortgage lending activity among mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. It covers about 50 % of all residential retail mortgage originations each week.
Application volume slipped as most interest rates jumped. The average interest rate for traditional, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 6.09 % from 5.72 %. The average interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, a popular option for refinancing a home, rose to 5.55 % from 5.18 %.
The average rate for one-year adjustable-rate mortgages remained steady at 5.72 %.