PhotoMortgage applications have turned higher after posting three straight weekly declines.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reports applications jumped 7.1% during the week ending August 5.

The Refinance Index shot up 10%, with the Government Refinance index surging 27% and the Conventional Refinance Index rising 6%. That pushed the refinance share of mortgage activity to 62.4% of total applications from 60.7% the week before.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity held steady at 4.7% of total applications, the FHA share rose to 10.0% from 9.4%, the VA share of total applications increased to 13.0% from 12.1%, while the USDA share of total applications inched down to 0.6% from 0.7% a week earlier.

Contract interest rates

  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) dipped two basis points -- from 3.67% to 3.65% -- with points increasing to 0.34 from 0.30 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year FRMs with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) slipped to 3.64% from 3.65%, with points increasing to 0.31 from 0.24 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year FRMs backed by the FHA was down two basis points to 3.52%, with points increasing to 0.33 from 0.32 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year FRMs was unchanged at 2.93%, with points decreasing to 0.34 from 0.36 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs fell nine basis points to 2.81%, with points increasing to 0.32 from 0.24 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

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


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