May 6 (UPI) -- Total mortgage applications in the United States are up and indicate that homebuyers may be ready to return to the market, according to new data Wednesday from the Mortgage Bankers Association.
According to the survey, applications increased 0.1 percent for the week ending May 1.
The MBA's Purchase Index also increased 6 percent, the report said, although the figure is still nearly 20 percent lower than it was at this time a year ago. The refinance index fell 2 percent, but remains 200 percent higher year-to-year.
"Purchase volume increased for the third week in a row, led by strong growth in Arizona, Texas and California," Mike Fratantoni, MBA senior vice president and chief economist, said in a statement. "Although purchase activity remains almost 19 percent below year-ago levels, this annualized deficit has decreased as more states reopen amidst the apparent, pent-up demand for homebuying,"
The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 70 percent of total applications, the MBA said.
The survey added that the average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages for $510,400 or less decreased slightly.