July 15 (UPI) -- Mortgage rates have again sunk to a record low -- 3.19 percent, according to new data Wednesday.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that the rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with loan balances (up to $510,400) fell 0.07 percent last week.
Total mortgage applications increased by 5.1 percent and applications to refinance rose 12 percent, a 107 percent hike year-to-year, MBA said.
Purchase applications are 15 percent higher than they were at this time last year. Last week marked the eighth consecutive for year-over-year increases.
"Purchase activity remains relatively strong, despite the continued economic uncertainty and high unemployment caused by the ongoing pandemic," Joel Kan, MBA associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said in a statement.
Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae, said the low rates coincided with an increase in the agency's refinance volume forecast by about $100 billion.
"At the current mortgage rate, we estimate that nearly 60 percent of all outstanding loan balances have at least a half-percentage point incentive to refinance," he said.