Refinancing performed well during the week ended August 4, pulling the Mortgage Bankers Association's Market Composite Index higher.  The Index, a measure of mortgage application volume, increased 3.0 percent on both a seasonally adjusted and an unadjusted basis compared to the week ended July 28.

The share of refinancing applications rose to 46.7 percent of the total from 45.5 percent the previous week, and the Refinancing Index was up 5.0 percent.  Purchase mortgage activity was also slightly higher, the Purchase Index gained 1.0 percent seasonally adjusted and 0.3 percent on an unadjusted basis.  The unadjusted Purchase Index was 7 percent higher than the same week in 2016.

Refi Index vs 30yr Fixed

Purchase Index vs 30yr Fixed

The share of applications for FHA loans dipped to 10.2 percent from 10.3 percent and the VA portion increased to 10.7 percent from 10.2 percent. USDA loan applications were unchanged at 0.8 percent.

Average interest rates were lower for all fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) and the effective rate was lower across the board. The average rate for 30-year FRM with conforming loan balances of $424,100 or less was 4.14 percent, down from 4.17 percent the previous week.  Points increased to 0.38 from 0.36.  

The jumbo 30-year FRM, loans with balances higher than the conforming loan limit, had an average rate of 4.07 with 0.26 point.  A week earlier the rate was 4.11 percent with 0.25 point.  

The average contract interest rate for 30-year FRM backed by the FHA decreased to 4.02 percent from 4.07 percent.  Points rose to 0.38 from 0.35.

Fifteen-year FRM loan rates averaged 3.41 percent with 0.41 point. The prior week the rate was 3.45 percent with 0.44 point.

Applications for adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) increased slightly to 6.8 percent from the previous weeks 6.6 percent share. The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs did tick up 1 basis point to 3.31 percent, but a decline in points from 0.29 to 0.21 still kept the effective rate lower than the week before.   

MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications.  Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts.  Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100 and interest rate information is based on loans with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio and points that include the origination fee.