Bolstered by a slight increase in both purchase and refinance activity, total mortgage loan application volume edged up 1.3 percent for the week ending July 30, 2010, the ""Mortgage Bankers Association"":http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA) reported Wednesday.[IMAGE] [COLUMN_BREAK]
According to MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, the purchase index jumped 1.5 percent from the week prior. MBA said this third consecutive weekly increase was driven by government purchase applications, which increased 3.4 percent from one week earlier, while conventional purchase applications were essentially flat.
In addition, MBA reported a 1.3 percent uptick in the refinance index from one week to the next. Despite the slight improvement, the refinance share of mortgage activity remained flat at 78 percent of total applications.
The overall increase in mortgage applications was accompanied by a week-to-week drop in mortgage interest rates. According to MBA, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 4.6 percent from 4.69 percent. In addition, MBA said the average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 4.03 percent from 4.12 percent, marking the lowest 15-year rate ever recorded in the survey.