It didn't take much to stem the tide of mortgage refinances. A very slight inch higher in interest rates caused a more than slight drop in application volume. Total mortgage applications fell 4.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending February 19 versus the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The reading included an adjustment to account for the Presidents Day holiday.
Refinance volume, which had been charging higher for weeks, took a breather, falling 8 percent from the previous week, seasonally adjusted. Mortgage applications to purchase a home, which are far less rate-sensitive, increased 2 percent from one week earlier and are now 27 percent higher than the same week one year ago.