Mortgage application activity increased just .5% in the week ending Aug. 22, with small gains made in both refinancings and purchasings.

There were slight declines in fixed mortgage rates that apparently helped activity. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that the 30-year fixed contract rate slipped three basis points to 6.44%.

The Refinance Index increased .3% to 1038.0 from 1034.5 in the previous week, while the Purchase Index rose 0.5% to 315.9 from 314.0. Still, the Refinance Index remains at its lowest since the end of 2000. As a percent of total applications, refinancings were 35.2% compared with 34.8% previously. ARM share was remained almost the same at 7.9% versus 8.0% in the last report.

While there was a small gain in activity after three weeks of steady declines, activity  is expected to slow as it typically does in the fall, with further slowing towards the end of the year due to the holidays.

That, along with current housing and credit conditions, makes it likely that activity will mostly be on the decline in future reports.

Subscribe Now

Access to a full range of industry content, analysis and expert commentary.

30-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Access coverage of the securitization marketplace, including breaking news updated throughout the day.