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Mortgage applications, rates increase

October 12, 2011 04:02PM

After last week’s drop, U.S. mortgage applications increased 1.3 percent for the week ending Oct. 7, according to weekly data from the Mortgage Bankers Association released today, on a seasonally adjusted and unadjusted basis.

Refinancings, which are not seasonally adjusted, also increased 1.3 percent this week.

The refinance share of mortgage activity held steady at 79.1 percent, while the adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity fell to 6 percent from 6.4 percent the prior week.

For a change, mortgage rates increased slightly in the last week. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances (less than $417,500 under a new law) increased to 4.25 percent from 4.18 percent, while jumbo loans increased to 4.59 percent from 4.49 percent. For FHA-backed 30-year fixed-rate mortgages the average rate rose one-hundredth of a percentage point to 4.06 percent. Additionally, the average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.53 percent from 3.49 percent.

The average loan size of all loans for home purchase in the U.S. was $210,863 in September 2011, down from $212,736 in August 2011. — Adam Fusfeld