Mortgage Applications See Biggest Gain in 3 Months

Applications for U.S. home mortgages saw their biggest jump in three months last week, fueled by demand for refinancing as interest rates continued to fall, an industry group said Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, surged 13.0 percent in the week ended June 10, the biggest percent gain since March.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications spiked up 16.5 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases gained 4.5 percent.

``Mortgage rates have declined for 8 of the past 9 weeks. Coming off of the Memorial Day holiday, refinance application volume increased significantly, as borrowers jumped to lock in the lowest mortgage rates since last November,'' Michael Fratantoni, MBA's vice president of research and economics, said in a statement.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 4.51 percent in the week, off from 4.54 percent the previous week.

The refinance share of mortgage activity rose to 70.0 percent of total applications from 67.3 percent the week before. (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Diane Craft)