MBA: Mortgage applications rise three-weeks straight Market gears up for spring home-buying season by Brena Swanson

Mortgage applications increased three-weeks straight as the market gears up for spring home-buying season.

The latest update from the Mortgage Bankers Association Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 10 found that applications increased 3.1%  from one week earlier.

This is similar to the previous week’s 3.3% increase in applications.

Both refinance and purchase applications rose, helping boost overall application volume. The Refinance Index increased 4% from the previous week, while the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 2% from one week earlier.

The refinance share of mortgage activity recorded a marginal increase and grew to 45.6% of total applications from 45.4% the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity now sits at 8.2% of total applications, the highest level since October 2014.

The Federal Housing Administration’s share of total applications decreased to 11.1% from 11.8% the week prior. Similarly, the Veterans Affairs’ share of total applications decreased to 11.1% from 11.6% the week prior.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s share of total applications remained frozen at 0.9% from the week prior.

Mortgage interest rates for most products jumped close to two-year highs.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) now sits at its highest level since April 2014, growing to 4.46%, from 4.36%.

Also reaching its highest level since April 2014, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,100) increased to 4.44%, from 4.27%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to its highest level since January 2014, 4.29%, from 4.18%.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.66% from 3.575, while the average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.45% from 3.48%.

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