Mortgage Purchase Applications Jump as Interest Rates Dip

Features Reuters

Applications for home mortgage purchases jumped last week as interest rates dipped, though demand for refinancing waned, an industry group said on Wednesday.

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The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, dipped 0.3% in the week ended Feb 24.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications was off 2.2%, but the gauge of loan requests for home purchases shot up 8.2%.

"Purchase application volume increased over the week, but remains within the narrow and anemic range of activity we have seen since the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit in May 2010," Michael Fratantoni, vice president of research and economics at the MBA, said in a statement.

The refinance share of total mortgage activity slipped to 77.9% of applications from 80.1 percent.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 4.07% down 2 basis points from 4.09% the week before.

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The survey covers over 75% of U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, according to MBA.

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