Despite a drop in home purchases, last week's jump in refinancing applications pushed overall volume higher, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today. The market composite index, a measure of mortgage application volume, edged up 0.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week before. The index that tracks refinancings rose 4.9 percent from the first week of July, while the purchase index fell 1.6 percent. As a result, the refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 37.7 percent of applications from 36.2 percent the previous week, and the adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share rose from 20.4 percent to 21 percent. Borrowing costs were mostly lower last week, as the average contract interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 6.61 percent from 6.65 percent...
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