Mortgage applications were up in the week ending September 21, as the Federal Reserve's stimulus efforts helped drive down interest rates, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
MBA's index of mortgage activity increased 2.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. Refinance activity helped fuel the jump, as refi applications climbed 3.3 percent. The index measuring loan requests for purchases was up 0.7 percent.
The increase in refinances helped the total share of applications rise to 81.2 percent, the highest level since early August.
The main driving force behind the bump in mortgage applications was interest rates returning to record lows. After about a month of increases, mortgage rates have been trending downward in the past few weeks. The Fed's announcement of QE3 is expected to help keep interest rates low up until at least 2015.
With interest rates set to remain low for years to come, QE3 could potentially have a positive impact on home buying by allowing qualified borrowers to obtain affordable mortgages.