Refi mortgage application share rises above 50%

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Mortgage refinancing applications were more than half of the volume for the first time since January, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Sept. 1 found that the refinance index increased 5% from the previous week.

The refinance application share increased to 50.9% from 49.4% the previous week. The last time the refi share was at 50% occurred the week of Jan. 20.

The market composite index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 3.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis, and on an unadjusted basis it increased 2% compared with the previous week.

Purchase application volume increased 1% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the purchase index decreased 1% compared with the previous week and was 5% higher than the same week one year ago.

Adjustable-rate loan application activity increased to 7.2% from 6.9%, while the share of applications for Federal Housing Administration-guaranteed loans decreased to 9.6% from 9.7%.

The share of applications for Veterans Affairs-guaranteed loans decreased to 9.7% from 10% and the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Rural Development share remained unchanged at 0.7%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) decreased 5 basis points to 4.06%. For 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,100), the average contract rate decreased 4 basis points to 4%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased 4 basis points to 3.98%, while for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages the average decreased 2 basis points to 3.34%.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.14% from 3.26%.

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