Overall mortgage applications increased 7.2 percent last week on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week before, as interest rates climbed significantly, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased by 8.4 percent to 438.2 from 404.1 the previous week, whereas the refinance index increased by 5.3 percent to 1,640.8 from 1,558.4 one week earlier.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 36.6 percent of total applications from 37.3 percent the previous week. This is the lowest refinance share since July 30, 2004, when 35.8 percent of applications were for refinancing. The adjustable-rate-mortgage share of activity decreased to 28.5 percent of total applications from 28.7 percent the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 6.49 percent from 6.36 percent. Points including the origination fee increased to 1.13 from 1.02 for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 6.15 percent from 6 percent. Points including the origination fee remained at 1.12 for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans.

The average contract interest rate for one-year adjustable-rate mortgages increased to 5.96 percent from 5.83 percent. Points including the origination fee decreased to 0.84 from 0.88 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. The survey covers approximately 50 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage originations, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts.

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