A for sale sign in Arlington, Virginia, marked August 22, 2023 

Mortgage rates increased last week, prompting a surge in refinancing applications 

Refinance applications saw a 13% weekly jump but remained 29% lower compared to the same week last year 

Surprisingly, refinancing demand didn't follow the usual trend of moving inversely to mortgage rates 

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 7.31% 

Borrowers might be rushing to refinance before rates climb even higher 

Fluctuations in the small refinance market can result in significant percentage changes 

Mortgage applications for home purchases increased by 2% but were 26% lower year-over-year 

Homebuyers face challenges due to higher rates and limited inventory 

With rising home prices, the average loan size for purchases reached $416,800, leading to bidding wars amid low supply