Overall mortgage applications rose 4.6 percent last week on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week before, with refinancings fueling the increase, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today.

The seasonally adjusted refinance index increased by 8.4 percent to 1,546.8 from 1,427.4 one week earlier, while the purchase index increased by 2.4 percent to 426.7 from 416.5 the previous week.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 35 percent of total applications from 33.8 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate-mortgage share of activity increased to 29.9 percent of total applications from 28.5 percent the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 6.66 percent from 6.61 percent, with points increasing to 1.17 from 1.14 for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 6.26 percent from 6.2 percent. Points including the origination fee decreased to 1.17 from 1.23 for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans.

The average contract interest rate for one-year adjustable-rate mortgages increased to 6.07 percent from 6.04 percent, with points increasing to 0.89 from 0.87 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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