PhotoAfter falling for two consecutive weeks, applications for mortgages are headed higher.

The Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey conducted by the Mortgage Bankers Association shows applications were up 3.3% during the week ending September 1.

The Refinance Index shot up 5% from the previous week, pushing the refinance share of mortgage activity to 50.9% of total applications from 49.4% -- its highest level since January.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 7.2% of total applications, the FHA share slipped to 9.6% from 9.7%, the VA share decreased to 9.7% from 10.0%, and the USDA share of total applications was unchanged at 0.7.

Contract interest rates

  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) fell five basis points -- from 4.11% to 4.06%, its lowest level since last November -- with points decreasing to 0.38 from 0.43 (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 $424,100) dipped to its lowest level since last November -- 3.96% from 4.00% -- with points unchanged at 0.20 (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 four basis points to 3.98%, its lowest level since last November, with points decreasing to 0.35 from 0.41 (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 down from 3.36% to 3.34%, its lowest level since last November, with points holding steady at 0.38 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs plunged 12 basis points to 3.14%, its lowest level since last November, with points decreasing to 0.31 from 0.35 (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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