Mortgage applications posted a 3.2% weekly increase in the week ended Dec. 9 after a month of declines, the Mortgage Bankers Association said, citing its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.
The average contract interest rate for conforming 30-year mortgages of $647,200 or less rose to 6.42% from 6.41% the week before, while the rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 6.40% from 6.39%.
At the same time, MBA’s refinance index rose 3% from the week before, as the refinance share of mortgage activity rose to 29.4% of mortgage applications from 28.7% in the preceding week.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances of more than $647,200 rose to 6.14% from 6.08%, and the average contract interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to 5.92% from 5.84%.
“Overall applications increased, driven by increases in purchase and refinance activity,” MBA Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist Joel Kan said in a news release. “However, with rates more than three percentage points higher than a year ago, both purchase and refinance applications are still well behind last year’s pace. The ongoing moderation in home-price growth, along with further declines in mortgage rates, may encourage more buyers to return to the market in the coming months.”