Consumers are shopping for homes and buying them too

Applications for mortgages and purchases were on the rise last week.

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Mortgage applications jumped by 9.6 percent from a week earlier, even as mortgage rates continued to climb, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Application Survey.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.03 percent from 3.98 percent.

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“Last week was a solid week for homebuyers. Purchase applications increased 2 percent and were 15 percent higher than a year ago," said Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. "Low supply and high home prices remain a key characteristic of this fall’s housing market, which is why the largest growth in activity continues to be in loans with higher loan balances.”

The refinancing index increased 13 percent from the previous week and was 188 percent higher than the same week a year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 61.9 percent of total applications, rising from 59.5 percent in the prior week.

"Positive data on consumer sentiment, and growing optimism surrounding the U.S. and China trade dispute, were behind last week’s rise in the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to 4.03 percent,” said Kan.

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The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications and has been conducted weekly since 1990.