Applications for mortgage loans increased last week, helped along by gains in both purchase and refinance loans.
The Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey shows loan application volumes rose a seasonally adjusted 2.8 percent for the week ending August 22, doubling the rate of growth recorded the previous week.
On an unadjusted basis, the improvement was smaller at 2 percent.
After climbing 3 percent in the last survey, MBA's Refinance Index gained another 3 percent in the most recent measure, bringing the refinance share of total mortgage activity up another percentage point to 56 percent, the highest level since March this year.
The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index also increased, rising 3 percent after the prior week's 0.4 percent decline. Unadjusted, that index was up 1 percent, ending the week down 11 percent compared to the same time a year ago.
The average contract interest rate for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined slightly, according to MBA, dipping to 4.28 percent. Points also fell, slipping to 0.25 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans.