After two weeks of remaining relatively stagnant, mortgage applications rose by more than 7% or the week ending Dec. 18, the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed.
The 7.3% increase in mortgage applications for the week that ended Dec. 18 follows two weeks of slight increases. Last week, the MBA report showed that mortgage applications were up 1.1% over the previous week, which only increased 1.2% from the week before that.
According to the MBA report, the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 7.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.
On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 7% compared with the previous week.
The MBA report showed that its Refinance Index increased 11% from the previous week.
The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 4% from one week earlier.
The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 2% compared with the previous week and was 37% higher than the same week one year ago.
Posting an increase was the share of refinances, which rose to 62.8% of total applications from 60.7% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to 6.1% of total applications.
The Federal Housing Administration share of total applications decreased to 12.9% from 14% the week prior. The Veterans Affairs share of total applications decreased to 10.5% from 11.2% the week prior. The Department of Agriculture share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.6% the week prior.
Additionally, the MBA report showed that the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased to 4.16% from 4.14%.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) increased to 4.04% from 4.01%.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 3.92% from 3.9%.
The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.45%, the highest level since October 2014, from 3.3%.
The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.24% from 3.25%.