Overall mortgage purchases jumped 25.6 percent last week to 8-month highs on a seasonally adjusted basis, as borrowers scrambled to refinance with lower interest rates, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey.

The MBA seasonally adjusted refinance index increased by 39.7 percent to 4,983.7 from 3,567.6 one week earlier. The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased by 5.6 percent to 452.4 from 428.6 the previous week.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 62.8 percent of total applications from 56.1 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate-mortgage share of activity decreased to 27.9 percent of total applications from 28.1 percent the previous week.

“We have been expecting a sharp up tick in refinance applications as borrowers became more aware of the low rates now available, whether through ads by lenders, from direct solicitations or from stories in the news media,” said Jay Brinkmann, MBA’s vice president of research and economics. “Keep in mind, however, that even with this surge in refinance applications, the share of applications for adjustable-rate mortgages is staying the same at almost 28 percent of applications and over 42 percent of the dollar volume. This means that a sizable percentage of these refinance applications are for adjustable-rate loans.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.37 percent from 5.34 percent from one week earlier. Points including the origination fee decreased to 1.26 from 1.35 the previous week for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans. 

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.65 percent from 4.62 percent one week earlier. Points including the origination fee increased to 1.45 from 1.18 the previous week for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans. 

The average contract interest rate for one-year adjustable-rate mortgages increased to 3.27 percent from 3.2 percent one week earlier. Points including the origination fee increased to 0.98 from 0.96 the previous week for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans. 

Washington, D.C.-based Mortgage Bankers Association is a national association representing the real estate finance industry.

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