PhotoFrom the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), word that mortgage applications rose for a third consecutive week.

According to the MBA's weekly survey, applications jumped 4.2% in the week ending September 9 -- including an adjustment for the Labor Day holiday.

The Refinance Index was up 2%, although the refinance share of mortgage activity fell to 62.9% of total applications from 64.0% the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity came in at 4.6% of total applications, the FHA share went from 9.5% to 9.6%, the VA share rose to 12.0% from 11.9% and the USDA share of total applications increased to 0.7% from 0.6% 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 one basis point -- to 3.67% from 3.68% -- with points decreasing to 0.36 from 0.37 (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) dropped to 3.64% from 3.66%, with points increasing to 0.36 from 0.30 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year FRMs backed by the FHA was down two basis points to 3.50%, with points decreasing to 0.27 from 0.35 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year FRMs inched up from 2.96% to 2.97%, with points unchanged at 0.34 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs was unchanged at 2.87%, with points increasing to 0.37 from 0.30 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

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


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