NEW YORK - Mortgage applications increased 7.5% in the week ended Feb. 3, as refinancings rose, thanks to declining mortgage interest rates, data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey indicated.

The refinance index increased 9.4%, while the purchase index inched up 0.1%.

The four-week moving average for the seasonally adjusted market index rose 4.88%. The four-week moving average grew 0.65% for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, while this average is up 5.72% for the Refinance Index.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 80.5% of total applications from 80.0% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 6.0% from 5.6% of applications from the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) decreased to 4.05%, the lowest rate in the history of the survey, from 4.09%.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.33%, the lowest rate in the history of the survey, from 3.36%.

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