Mortgage applications increased 3.1% from one week earlier even as rates reached their highest level in three years, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 10 found that the refinance index increased 4% from the previous week.

During the week, the average rate for conforming mortgages increased by 10 basis points to its highest level since April 2014. Jumbo rates were up by 14 basis points. Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages saw an 11-basis-point increase to its highest level since January 2014.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 45.6% of total applications from 45.4% the previous week.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased 2% from one week earlier, while the unadjusted purchase index increased 3% compared with the previous week and was 6% higher than the same week one year ago.

The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to 8.2% from 7.7%, while the FHA share decreased to 11.1% from 11.8% the week prior.

The VA share of total applications decreased 5 basis points to 11.1% and the USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.9%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) increased to 4.46% from 4.36%. For 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,100), the average contract rate increased to 4.44% from 4.27%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 4.29% from 4.18%, while for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, the average increased to 3.66% from 3.57%.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased 3 basis points to 3.45%.

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