Applications by homeowners seeking to refinance their mortgages jumped 17.1 percent the week ending Aug. 13, while demand for purchase loans continued to sag.

Purchase loan applications were down 3.4 percent from the week before, to a level 38.6 percent below the same time last year, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in releasing the results of its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

Applications by homeowners seeking to refinance their mortgages jumped 17.1 percent the week ending Aug. 13, while demand for purchase loans continued to sag.

Purchase loan applications were down 3.4 percent from the week before, to a level 38.6 percent below the same time last year, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in releasing the results of its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

Requests for refinancings were at a high last seen in May 2009, accounting for 81.4 percent of all loan applications.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.6 percent from 4.57 percent, with points increasing to 0.92 from 0.89 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The effective rate also increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.99 percent from 3.95 percent, with points decreasing to 1.05 from 1.08 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate also increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for one-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans decreased to 6.9 percent from 7 percent, with points decreasing to 0.21 from 0.22 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

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