Whatever consumers were doing on the King holiday Jan. 17th, it was not shopping for mortgages. The Mortgage Bankers Association's Market Composite Index, which measures mortgage application volume, dropped 12.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, it was down 12.0% compared with the previous week. The results do not include an adjustment for the holiday.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 8.7% to its lowest level since October 2010. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 3.1% compared with the previous week and was 20.8% lower than the same week one year ago.

The Refinance Index decreased 15.3% from the previous week and reached its lowest level since January 2010.

The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is down 1.0%, down 3.7% for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index and down 0.1% for the Refinance Index.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 70.3% of total applications from 73.0% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage(ARM) share of activity increased to 5.2% from 5.0% of total applications.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.8% from 4.77%, with points decreasing to 1.19 from 1.20 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.12% from 4.16%, with points increasing to 1.26 from 0.90.