Mortgage rates and applications, falling together……

Mortgage applications fell again last week, even as rates returned to their downward trend, according to mortgage application data for the week ending Aug. 24 released today by the Mortgage Bankers Association. Applications slumped 4.3 percent overall, on the back of a 6 percent decline in applications for mortgage refinances. Applications for purchases, however, jumped 1 percent.

The increase in mortgages for purchase coupled with the decrease in refinance applications dropped the refinance share of activity to 79 percent of total applications from 80 percent the prior week.

Average interest rates fell six basis points to 3.80 and five basis points to 4.06 percent for conforming 30-year fixed-rate loans and jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, respectively. Federal Housing Administration-backed 30-year fixed-rate mortgages had an average interest rate of 3.60, down from 3.62. Finally, 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rates dropped to 3.12 percent from 3.15 percent. — Adam Fusfeld

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