U.S. mortgage applications
last week rose slightly as mortgage rates remained at record lows,
said the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey released Wednesday by
the U.S. Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
The association said that the Market Composite Index of U.S. mortgage applications, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 0.2 percent in the week ending July 27 on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week. It was the highest level since June 8.
The Refinance Index increased 0.8 percent from the previous week, which was the highest level since the week ending April 17, 2009. Its share of mortgage activity also rose to 81 percent of total applications to its highest level since the week ending Jan. 20, 2012. In addition, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index fell 2 percent.
The association also said the average contract interest rate for 30-year remained unchanged at 3.52 percent, which was the lowest rate recorded in the survey, and the interest rate for 15 years rose to 3.09 percent from 3.07 percent.
However, as mortgage rates remained at or near all-time lows, banking service fees, also known as points which are calculated as a percentage of loan, increased from the lowest 0.49 to the highest 0.55.
With constant modest improvement recently, the U.S. housing crash is said to be near the bottom. However, many economists hold that the market still needs years to recover entirely as the bottom will be prolonged.
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