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US Mortgage Applications Rose Last Week, Despite Rate Hike: MBA

Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose last week even as interest rates climbed, while refinancing demand accounted for a slightly smaller proportion of total activity, 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 3.4 percent in the week ended Feb. 1.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications rose 3.5 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, rose 2.2 percent.

The refinance share of total mortgage activity fell to 78 percent of applications from 79 percent the week before.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 3.73 percent in the week, up 6 basis points from 3.67 percent the week before. The contract interest rate for 30-year fixed mortgages has increased for seven of the last eight weeks.

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

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  • Diana Olick serves as CNBC's real estate correspondent as well as the editor of the Realty Check section on CNBC.com.