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Mortgage Applications Rise Due to More Refinances and Purchases

AUG 27, 2014 11:25am ET
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Mortgage application volume was higher than the week before as both refinance and purchase activity increased.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly index showed a 2.8% rise in mortgage loan applications for the period ending Aug. 22. In the previous week, the index increased 1.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The refinance index and the purchase index each was up 3% in the latest weekly survey, the Washington-based trade group said on Wednesday. The refinance share of mortgage activity reached its highest level since March accounting for 56% of total applications. Meanwhile, the adjustable-rate mortgage share held steady at 8% of total mortgage applications.

"Buyers made a late summer push in this season that never reached its full potential," said Bill Banfield, vice president at Quicken Loans.

"More homeowners are taking advantage of historically low rates that won't be around forever. Nearly a million more homeowners can still benefit of the Home Affordable Refinance Program, but their opportunity will be fleeting when rates start rising."

A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell one basis point, to 4.28%. Mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration saw the average 30-year fixed rate also drop one basis point, to 3.98%. However, 30-year jumbo mortgage rates and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased from the week before by four basis points and three basis points, respectively, to 4.22% and 3.47%.

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

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