Mortgage Applications Escalate as Refinances Increase

Mortgage application volume increased from the previous week due to more refinance activity.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly index showed that mortgage loan application volume was 2.4% higher on a seasonally adjusted basis for the period ending July 18, after decreasing the week before.

The refinance index was up 4% week-over-week, while the home purchase index only increased by 0.3% from one week earlier, the Washington-based trade group said on Wednesday.

The refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 54.4% of total applications, the highest percentage in four months. Meanwhile, the adjustable-rate mortgage share remained unchanged at 8%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages held steady at 4.33%. Mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration saw average interest rates decline one basis point to 4.03%. A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage had its interest rate increase six basis points to 3.47%.

The weekly survey covers 75% of all retail residential mortgage applications.

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