The number of mortgage applications filed in the U.S. shot up 14.8% for the week ending March 1, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday. The turnaround arrived after three straight weeks of declines.

Applications rose alongside the refinance index, which grew 15%, and the purchase index which also shot up 15%, showing strong market demand for refis and home purchases.

The chief economist of Quicken Loans Bob Walters welcomed the MBA report as a sign of a "healing housing market."

"Mortgage applications rebounded after three weeks of declines. With low housing inventories, home prices are seeing a modest boost and are spending less time on the market," Walters added.

The refinance share of mortgage activity remained unchanged at 77% of total applications, while adjustable-rate mortgage activity sat unchanged at 4% of total applications.

Those who filed applications also found falling interest rates among the typical fixed-rate mortgages.

The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with a conforming loan balance fell to 3.70% from 3.77%, while the average 30-year, FRM with a jumbo loan balance fell to 3.80% from 3.93%.

The average contract interest rate for the 30-year, FRM backed by the FHA declined to 3.47% from 3.54%.

In addition, the 15-year, FRM declined to 2.96% from 3.03%, and the 5/1 ARM fell to 2.55% from 2.65%.  

kpanchuk@housingwire.com