Mortgage activity rallies in September

As the calendar turned to September, mortgage activity also turned a page following a dismal August. Mortgage applications increased 11.1 percent for the week ending Sept. 7, according to weekly data from the Mortgage Bankers Association released today. The data was adjusted for the holiday weekend; on an unadjusted basis mortgage applications actually fell 12 percent.

Refinance applications increased 12 percent from the previous week on an adjusted basis, and applications for purchases rose 8 percent from the past week. However, the MBA acknowledged that the holiday adjustments may have overstated activity level because internet originations for refinances saw little decline over Labor Day.

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Refinances increased to 80 percent of all applications, compared to 79 percent the prior week.

Mortgage rates fell across the board last week. Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans with conforming balances dropped to 3.75 percent from 3.78 percent, while similarly termed jumbo loans declined to 4.00 percent from 4.05 percent. Rates for Federal Housing Administration-backed 30-year fixed-rate loans slumped to 3.50 percent from 3.54 percent and 15-year fixed-rate loan rates dropped to 3.07 percent from 3.10 percent. – Adam Fusfeld