Following two weeks of decrease, mortgage applications increased by a seasonally-adjusted 2.9% during the week ending September 30th, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. Unadjusted, the Market Composite Index increased by 3%, a difference of 10 basis points.

The Refinance Index increased by 5% in the same period, and the Purchase Index decreased by 0.1% on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Unadjusted, the Index decreased by 0.2%.

The refinance share of total mortgage activity increased to 63.8% from 62.7% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage activity increased to 4.5% of all applications. The FHA share decreased to 10.0% from 10.2%, the VA share decreased to 11.4% from 11.9%, and the USDA share has increased and returned to 0.7%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 3.62%, while the rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (more than $417,000) decreased to 3.60% from 3.64%. For 30-year fixed-rate loans backed by the FHA, the average contract interest rate fell to 3.50% from 3.52%.

For 30-year fixed-rate mortgages that are also 80 percent LTV (loan-to-value) loans, points for mortgages with conforming balances fell to 0.32 from 0.33, points for loans with jumbo balances fell to 0.25 from 0.28, and points for loans backed by the FHA fell to 0.16 from 0.21. (All point reports include the origination fee.)

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 2.93% from 2.95%, and the average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs remained unchanged at 2.92%. Points for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages that are also 80% LTV loans decreased to 0.32, while points for 5/1 ARMs that are also 80% LTV loans increased to 0.44.