The Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Market Composite Index (MCI) increased 7.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ended Aug. 21, driven by refinancings, which zoomed even as the average rate for the 30-year fixed rate mortgage increased nine basis points.

The Refinance Index gained 12.7% after rising by 7%, dropping by 7% and rising again by 7% in the previous three weeks. On an unadjusted basis, the MCI increased 6.3% compared with the previous week and 34.1% compared with the same week one year earlier.

The MCI is calculated from the MBA's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. MBA stopped disclosing index values with the July 31 data release. Driven by an increase in applications for government loans, the Purchase Index increased by 1% over the previous week. This makes the fourth consecutive weekly increase in this component.

The share of refinancing applications increased to 56.5% of total applications, up from 53.3% the previous week. For the second consecutive week the share of adjustable-rate mortgage applications remains at 6.5%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 5.24 % from 5.15%, with points increasing to 1.07 from 0.98 (including the origination fee) for loans with an 80% percent loan-to-value ratio, the association reported.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year FRMs increased by six basis points to 4.58%, while for one-year adjustable-rate loans, it increased by 8 bps to 6.74%.

The MBA can be found online at http://www.mortgagebankers.org.

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