Purchase applications for home mortgages fell a seasonally adjusted 11 percent in the September 15 week while refinancing applications fell 9 percent. The outsized decline in purchase applications entirely erased an increase of the same magnitude in the prior week, when results were adjusted for the Labor Day holiday. Unadjusted, the Purchase Index increased 10 percent and was 2 percent above the level in the same week a year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 52.1 percent, up 1.1 percentage points from the prior week. The average interest rate on conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages ($424,100 or less) rose 1 basis point to 4.04 percent. At 2 percent, year-on-year growth in purchase applications shrank by 5 percentage points from the prior week. This does not bode well for a housing market which, despite a sharp decline in the South due to Hurricane Harvey, showed some signs of vigor in August according to Tuesday's Housing Starts report. Later this morning the release of the Existing Home Sales report for August will shed further light on the state of the U.S.housing market following Hurricane Harvey.