WASHINGTON (8/27/15)--Driven by purchase activity, mortgage applications rose 0.2% for the week that ended Aug. 21, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly mortgage application survey, released Wednesday.
Purchase applications jumped 1.7% after a 1.1% drop the prior week, while refinancing activity--which now makes up 55.3% of all applications--fell by 1% after a 7.2% surge the previous week (Economy.com Aug. 26).
“Housing data released over the past several weeks have pointed to further improvement in the housing market,” said Michael Ferlez, Moody’s analyst (Economy.com). “New single-family home sales rose by 5.4% in July to a seasonally adjusted rate of 507,000. As the inventory of existing homes tightens, house prices will rise, which will ignite more homebuilding.”
The contract rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages slipped to 4.08% during the week, a 9-basis point drop on a monthly basis and a 20-basis point drop on a yearly basis.
For jumbo mortgages, the 30-year rate fell to 4%.
“Financial turmoil in China weighed on mortgage rates, with the rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate falling to its lowest level since May,” Ferlez said. “Rising global uncertainty has led to a steady decline in the 30-year fixed rate since the end of June.”
The five-year adjustable-rate mortgage rate dropped by 2 basis points to 2.96% for the week, a mark that falls 14 basis points below levels seen a year ago at this time.