Refinance activity uptick leads to rise in application volume

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Mortgage application volume increased from one week earlier, driven by a boost in refinance activity, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Dec. 1 found that the refinance index increased 9% from the previous week. The prior week's results included an adjustment for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The refinance application share increased to 51.6% from 48.7% the previous week.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased 2% from one week earlier. The unadjusted purchase index increased 38% compared with the previous week and was 8% higher than the same week one year ago.

The market composite index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 4.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.

Adjustable-rate loan application activity decreased to 5.7% from 6.2%, while the share of Federal Housing Administration-guaranteed loans increased to 11.1% from 10.8%.

The share of applications for Veterans Affairs-guaranteed loans decreased to 10.7% from 11% and the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Rural Development share remained unchanged from the week prior at 0.8%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) decreased 1 basis point to 4.19%. For 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,100), the average contract rate increased 2 basis points to 4.16%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased 4 basis points to 4.11%, while for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages the average increased 2 basis points to 3.59%. The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased 6 basis points to 3.48%.

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