"Refinance application activity increased the most among jumbo loan sizes, greater than $417,000. By contrast, average purchase loan sizes ticked up less than 1 percent, as increases in purchase applications were much more evenly distributed across all loan sizes," added Fisher.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 3.99 percent, the lowest level since May 2015, from 4.08 percent, with points increasing to 0.46 from 0.45 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. This average reading, however, does not show how low rates got on certain days last week, with some lenders quoting as low as 3.625 percent.
While the weekly jump is significant, mortgage application volume is still running historically low, especially on the purchase side, given population growth and pent-up demand from the recession. Purchase application volume is less than half of what it was during the housing boom from 2005-2007, and is now back to levels comparable to the late 1990s.