Mortgage applications rose last week: MBA

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose last week, helped by refinancing demand as interest rates fell for the third week in a row, 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 4 percent in the week ended April 29.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications climbed 6 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases added 0.3 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity rose to 62.7 percent of total applications from 61.6 percent the week before, the highest level of the month, MBA said.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 4.76 percent in the week, down from 4.80 percent the week before. (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Diane Craft)