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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.

9 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

11 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.