Mortgage applications increase nationwide

August 17, 2011 10:01AM

Mortgage applications increased 4.1 percent nationwide for the week ending Aug. 12, according to weekly data from the Mortgage Bankers Association released today. Refinancings also increased 8 percent from the previous week.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 78.8 percent of total applications from 75.6 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity decreased week-over-week to 5.8 percent from 6.1 percent of total applications.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.32 percent from 4.37 percent, while the average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.47 percent from 3.52 percent.

“Unprecedented volatility in the stock market last week amid additional signs that the economy has slowed led to further drops in mortgage rates, with the 15-year rate reaching a new low for the MBA survey,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s vice president of research and economics. “Purchase application activity fell sharply over the previous week, likely the result of potential homebuyers hesitant to purchase in this highly volatile and uncertain environment.” — Katherine Clarke