RTTNews - Mortgage applications increased in the week ending August 21, as demand for home refinancing loans hit its highest level since early June, according to a report released by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Refinance shares of mortgage activity increased to 56.5 percent of total applications, up from 53.3 percent the previous week. The adjustable rate mortgage share of activity remained flat at 6.5 percent of total applications.

The MBA reported that mortgage loan application volume rose 7.5 percent last week on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week. On an unadjusted basis, the application volume rose 6.3 percent from the week before and 34.1 percent from the same week last year.

The refinance index saw its third increase in the past four weeks, rising 12.7 percent. The seasonally adjusted purchase index gained slightly, increasing one percent from the previous week.

This is its fourth gain in as many weeks for the purchase index, and marks the first time it has happened since March, when mortgage rates first dropped below 5 percent. The rise is mainly due to increasing demand for government loans.

Interest rates increased across the board last week, with the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increasing from 5.15 percent to 5.24 percent, the rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increasing from 4.52 percent to 4.58 percent and one-year ARMs increasing to 6.74 percent from 6.66 percent.

The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted market index is up 3.5 percent. The same average is up 1.7 percent for the seasonally adjusted purchase index and up 4.8 percent for the seasonally adjusted refinance index.

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