Here is what was at the top of the headlines for the mortgage industry this past week.

Construction Spending up 1.8% in July, the biggest one-month gain since May 2012. Spending on single-family homes rose 0.5% and is 9.4% higher than a year ago while apartment construction rose 0.2% and is 41% higher than a year ago. Construction spend is now 8.2% higher than it was a year ago as it continues to advance following a deep plunge during the Great Recession when builders sharply cut back because of a glut of unsold homes.

Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose last week as interest rates declined, an industry group said on Wednesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, rose 0.2 percent in the week ended Aug. 29.

Nonbank Mortgage Lenders Bounce Back. Specialized Companies Made a Quarter of Loans in First Half. Specialized mortgage providers are taking a larger piece of the (smaller) pie of 2014 originations. Nonbank lenders among the top-30 originators made 23% of all mortgage loans in the first six months of the year, up from 17% in the first half of 2013and 11% in the same period in 2012.school children playing tug of war with rope in park

The balance of power in the housing market is continuing its tilt back to buyers—and that could spell a surge in home sales in the coming months.

Latest MBA Weekly Survey Mortgage applications increased 0.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for
the week ending August 29, 2014.

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