Mortgage Applications Escalate as Refinances Increase

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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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