Applications for purchase mortgages and requests to refinance existing home loans both saw modest gains during the week ending July 17, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in releasing the results of its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

Applications for refinancings grew 4 percent from the previous week, and requests to refinance accounted for 55.5 percent of all mortgage loan applications, up from 54.9 percent the week before.

Applications for purchase loans were up 1.3 percent from the previous week, according to a seasonally adjusted index.

All in all, loan application volume was up 2.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week, and 6.6 percent from a year ago on an unadjusted basis.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages last week increased to 5.31 percent from 5.05 percent, with points increasing to 1.18 from 1.12 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans, the MBA said.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.8 percent from 4.59 percent, with points decreasing to 1.03 from 1.07 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs increased to 6.5 percent from 6.47 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.11 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. 

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