WASHINGTON - Mortgage applications rose 0.3% in the week that ended Aug. 17, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday.

The market composite index, which measures loan purchase and refinance activity, increased to 509.8. The MBA's purchase index dipped 2.6%, to 293.2, and the refinance index rose 3.1%, to 1769.8.

Refinancing represented 49.7% of total applications, up from 47.9% the previous week, while adjustable-rate mortgage activity dipped to 11.7%, from 13.1% the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was 6.85%, down from 6.87% the previous week. The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs was 5.67%, versus 5.65% the week before.

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