Interest rates eased but a drop in refinancing activity pushed mortgage applications down a seasonally adjusted 1.5 percent during the week ending Aug. 15 from a week ago, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.

Interest rates eased but a drop in refinancing activity pushed mortgage applications down a seasonally adjusted 1.5 percent during the week ending Aug. 15 compared to the preceding week, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.

The MBA’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey showed a 3.7 percent decline in refinance applications from the previous week and a 0.7 percent decrease in conventional purchase applications. Applications for government purchase loans — largely FHA-guaranteed mortgages — increased 0.2 percent. Total mortgage application volume was down 34.2 percent from a year ago, the survey said.

The refinance share of mortgage applications decreased to 34.8 percent, from 35.2 percent the previous week, while adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans accounted for 8 percent of total applications, up from 7.3 percent the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 6.47 percent from 6.57 percent, with points decreasing to 1.1 from 1.14 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 5.99 percent from 6.17 percent, with points increasing to 1.18 from 1.06 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs decreased to 7.07 percent from 7.15 percent, with points increasing to 0.42 from 0.38 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

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