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Mortgage applications fall 3.3% as interest rates rise

But both purchase and refi loans continue their year-over-year gains

Mortgage applications fell 3.3% last week after interest rates rose to their highest level in two weeks, according to a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The refinance index also fell 5% from the previous week, however, it was 38% higher than the same week a year ago – marking its thirteenth-straight week of year-over-year gains. The refinance share of mortgage activity also fell to 64.6% of total applications from 65.6% the week prior when it hit its highest level since May.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index gained 1% compared with the previous week and was 27% higher than the same week one year ago – the third straight month of year-over-year increases, said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.

“Conventional purchase applications drove last week’s increase, while applications for government loans decreased,” Kan said. “The housing market remains a bright spot in the current economic recovery and these results, combined with July data on housing starts and homebuilder optimism, suggest that housing supply could be increasing to better meet the strong demand for buying a home.”

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity remained unchanged at 2.7%.

Here is a more detailed breakdown of this week’s mortgage application data:

  • The FHA’s share of mortgage apps fell to 10.3% from 10.4%.
  • The VA share of applications fell to 11.2% from 11.4%.
  • The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.6% the week prior.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) increased to 3.13% from 3.06%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $510,400) increased to 3.41% from 3.40%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA fell to 3.16% from 3.23%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 2.73% from 2.67%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs fell to 2.95% from 3%.

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