Overall mortgage application volume rebounded last week after two straight weeks of significant slowing, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today.

The market composite index, which measures total home loan volume, gained 3.6 percent last week, rising to 575.6 on a seasonally adjusted basis from 555.8 one week earlier.

Loans to buy homes saw the greatest rise in activity last week, with the seasonally adjusted purchase index increasing by 4.3 percent to 406.9 from 390.2 one week earlier. The refinance index gained 2.2 percent to 1,640.4 from 1,604.6 the previous week.

Both the refinance and adjustable-rate mortgage shares of activity decreased last week, with refis falling to 48.1 percent of total applications and ARMs dropping to a 20.4 percent share, the lowest since July 2003.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 6.22 from 6.12 percent, with points including the origination fee decreasing to 0.92 from 0.96 for 80 percent loan-to-value-ratio loans.

Points, which are fees charged by lenders for loan processing, are expressed as a percent of the total loan amount.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.93 percent from 5.84 percent. Points including the origination fee declined to 1 from 1.06 for 80 percent loan-to-value-ratio loans.

The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs decreased to 5.84 percent from 5.87, with points including the origination fee increasing to 0.83 from 0.80 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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