The first week in February usually marks the start of the busy spring housing market, but you wouldn't know that from the mortgage market.
Total mortgage application volume barely moved last week, up just 0.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Volume was 5 percent higher than the same week a year ago.
Applications to refinance a home loan, which usually fall when rates rise, eked out a 1 percent gain for the week and were nearly 2 percent higher than a year ago, when interest rates were lower. Some borrowers may have jumped to get the last low rates now, fearing even higher ones coming soon.
The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 46.4 percent of total applications, its lowest level since July, from 47.8 percent the previous week. Refinance volume hasn't moved much in the last several months, signaling it may have hit a floor.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($453,100 or less) increased to its highest level since April 2014, 4.50 percent, from 4.41 percent, with points increasing to 0.57 from 0.56 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans.