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Data: Mortgage Bankers Association; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Mortgage applications rose 8% from one week earlier for the week ending June 12, with applications to buy a home hitting the highest level in more than 11 years, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

What they're saying: "The housing market continues to experience the release of unrealized pent-up demand from earlier this spring, as well as a gradual improvement in consumer confidence," Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said in a statement.

  • "Mortgage rates dropped to another record low in MBA’s survey, leading to a 10 percent surge in refinance applications. Refinancing continues to support households’ finances, as homeowners who refinance are able to gain savings on their monthly mortgage payments in a still-uncertain period of the economic recovery."

State of play: While refinancings are helping buoy the housing market, their share of total applications remains below highs seen in previous recessions, especially given all-time low mortgage rates.

  • That suggests the demand is due to consumers buying and not just current homeowners hoping to lower their monthly payments.
  • The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 63.2% of total applications from 61.3% the previous week.

Go deeper: Many Americans don't know about mortgage deferral plans

Editor’s note: This post has been corrected to reflect that mortgage purchase applications hit their highest levels in 11 years (not all mortgage applications).

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Aug 7, 2020 - Economy & Business

Household debt and credit delinquencies dropped during Q2

Reproduced from New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans cut back on credit cards and increased savings during the worst three-month economic period in U.S. history, as household debt fell for the first time in six years, data from the New York Fed showed.

By the numbers: Total debt declined 0.2% to $14.27 trillion in the second quarter, led by a $76 billion drop in outstanding credit-card balances.

45 mins ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia structures in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

Senate parliamentarian rules $15 minimum wage cannot be included in relief package

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the provision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour cannot be included in the broader $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: It's now very likely that any increase in the minimum wage will need bipartisan support, as the provision cannot be passed with the simple Senate majority that Democrats are aiming to use for President Biden's rescue bill.