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Mortgage applications numbers are getting stronger each week as homebuyers rush back into the market, hoping to get their hands on what few homes there are for sale.

Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 5% for the week and were a stunning 18% higher than a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances of up to $510,400 decreased to 3.37% from 3.42%. Points, including the origination fee, for loans with a 20% down payment decreased to 0.30 from 0.33.

Even though Mortgage applications to refinance a home loan fell 9% for the week, they were still 137% higher than a year ago, when interest rates were 86 basis points higher. That was the seventh straight week of declines in refinance activity.

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