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MBA: Mortgage applications rise again thanks to increasing refinance demand

Average loan size for refinances reached highest level since September 2016

Mortgage applications continued to rise last week as refinance applications rose to their highest level since November 2016, per the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

According to the data from the MBA’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending June 9, mortgage applications increased 2.8% from the week earlier, which included an adjustment for the Memorial Day holiday.

That follows last week’s increase of 7.1% from the week before that.

Per the MBA data, the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 2.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.

According to the report, the increase was driven by an uptick in refinance applications, as the Refinance Index increased 9% from one week ago, while the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index fell 3%.

Additionally, the refinance share of mortgage activity rose to 45.4% of total applications from 42.1% in the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity remained unchanged at 7.4% of total applications.

Also, the average loan size for refinance applications reached the highest level since September 2016, climbing to $274,700.

The Federal Housing Administration’s share of total applications rose from 10.6% last week to 11.2%, while the Veterans Affairs’ share of total applications remained at 11.1%.

The Department of Agriculture’s share of total applications also stayed at 0.8% from the week prior.

Additionally, the MBA report showed that the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) fell to 4.13% from 4.14%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,100) also fell, from 4.08% to 4.06%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 4% from 4.01%, while the average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.37% from 3.39%.

Finally, the average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.26% from 3.19%.

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