Mortgage apps continue, despite slight rate increase

U.S. mortgage applications remained at their elevated level last week, increasing 0.2 percent after reaching three-year highs the previous week, according to data through July 27 from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Once again, the increase was led by conventional refinance applications, which ticked up 2 percent. However, government refinance applications fell by 6 percent, which brought down the total increase in refinance applications to 0.8 percent. Meanwhile, applications for mortgages for home purchases, which comprised 19 percent of the market, fell 2 percent last week.

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After setting a series of record lows in recent months, interest rates on new mortgages rose slightly last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans with conforming balances jumped a single basis point to 3.75 percent, while those mortgages with jumbo balances rose by twice that amount to 4.01 percent. Interest rates for Federal Housing Administration-backed 30-year fixed-rate mortgages held steady at 3.52 percent. Finally, interest rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages grew to 3.09 percent from 3.07 percent. —Adam Fusfeld