Industry NewsMortgage

Demand for refis picks up again

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Applications for mortgages were up 7.5 percent for the week ending Aug. 21, although the increase was mostly driven by increased demand for refinancings, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in releasing results of its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.Requests for refinancings were up 12.7 percent from the week before, and refinancings accounted for 56.5 percent of all applications, up from 53.3 percent, the MBA said.Demand for purchase loans was up a more modest 1 percent, with increased demand for government loans (mostly FHA) accounting for the surge.The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.24 percent from 5.15 percent, with points increasing to 1.07 from 0.98 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.58 percent from 4.52 percent, with points increasing to 1.18 from 0.93 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LT...