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Published: Jul 08, 2020 5 min read

Mortgage loan applications increased for the first time in three weeks, as buyers and homeowners took advantage of record-low interest rate.

Purchase applications increased 5% over the previous week for the seven-days ending July 3. That's 33% higher than year-ago levels, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's latest weekly survey. The average purchase loan size increased to $365,700—also a high, as limited supply pushed home prices higher.

"Mortgage rates declined to another record low as renewed fears of a coronavirus resurgence offset the impacts from a week of mostly positive economic data, such as June factory orders and payroll employment," said Joel Kan, head of economic and industry forecasting for MBA.

Refinance applications also ticked up, increasing a modest 0.4% from the previous week but still 111% higher than the same week a year ago. Refinance loans made up 60% of the total mortgage loan applications. The loan application numbers are adjusted, taking the July 4th holiday into consideration.

Meanwhile, the number of loans in forbearance continued declining, dropping 8 basis points to 8.39% of servicer loans for the week ending June 28.

"It is not surprising that the forbearance numbers continue to improve as more people go back to their jobs," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA's chief economist, referring to the better than expected June jobs report. "The decrease in new forbearance requests indicates that further declines are likely in the weeks ahead."

Average Mortgage Rates Today

For the week ending July 2, the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage set a new record low of 3.07% with 0.8 points paid, according to Freddie Mac. That's 0.06 percentage points below the previous low of 3.13%.

Rates are subject to change. All information provided here is accurate as of the publish date.