purchase apps rise as refinance demand falls, by Thetruthaboutmortgage.com

Applications to purchase a home increased during the week ending September 3 as refinanceapps slid, according to the latest survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

That bucked an ongoing trend seen over the past few months in which refinance apps were surging and purchase apps were falling flat.

Overall, home loan demand decreased 1.5 percent from one week earlier, thanks to a 3.1 percent dip in refinance activity, offset by a 6.3 percent rise in purchase apps.

“Purchase applications increased last week, reaching the highest level since the end of May.  However, purchase activity remains well below levels seen prior to the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit, and is almost 40 percent below the level recorded one year ago,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics, in a release.

“On the other hand, refinance volume dropped last week for the first time in six weeks, but the level of applications to refinance remains close to recent highs, as historically low mortgage rates continue to draw borrowers into the market.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity fell to 81.9 percent of total apps from 82.9 percent one week earlier as mortgage rates inched off record lows.

The popular 30-year fixed averaged 4.50 percent, up from 4.43 percent, while the 15-year fixed rose to 4.00 percent from 3.88 percent.

Finally, the one-year adjustable-rate mortgage ticked up to 7.00 percent from 6.95 percent, and remains quite unattractive.

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