Mortgage applications fall for second straight week

After steady increases in July, the first two weeks of August have seen mortgage applications spiral downward. Applications for home loans decreased 4.5 percent for the week ending Aug. 10, according to weekly data released today by the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refinances, which continued to make up 81 percent of the market, declined 5 percent and applications for purchases decreased 2 percent.

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Mortgage rates stayed mostly steady from a week earlier, according to the survey. The average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances held firm at 3.76 percent, while rates for 30-year fixed loans with jumbo balances decreased to 4.03 percent from 4.04 percent. Federal Housing Administration-backed 30-year loans saw their interest rate fall to 3.53 percent from 3.54 percent. Finally, 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rates rose to 3.12 percent from 3.08 percent. — Adam Fusfeld