Home loan application volume rose 2.5 percent last week as interest rates across all loan types declined, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today.

According to the trade group, the seasonally adjusted increase was led by a 5.2 percent gain in the index that tracks refinance applications, and was offset slightly by a 0.8 percent decrease in the purchase-loan index.

The refinance share of loan applications edged up from 52.2 percent at the beginning of the month to 53.5 percent last week, MBA reported, while the adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share dipped from 6.5 percent to 6 percent.

The average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 5.74 percent last week from 5.78 percent a week earlier, and the average 15-year fixed mortgage rate dropped to 5.27 percent from 5.39 percent. The points that borrowers paid to attain these rates averaged 1.05 on the 30-year loans, down from 1.11 the week before, and averaged 1.19 on the 15-year loans, up from 1.11.

Overall costs on one-year ARMs were lower, with the average interest rate dipping to 7.02 percent from 7.06 percent and average points falling to 1.28 from 1.46.

The Mortgage Bankers Association 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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