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US Mortgage Applications Jump as Rates Fall: MBA

Alberto Pomares | E+ | Getty Images

Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose last week, fueled by demand for refinancing as interest rates fell to the lowest level of the year, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, rose 7 percent in the week ended May 3.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications climbed 8.3 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, gained 2.4 percent.

(Read More: Here's What Is Really Behind Home Price Gains)

The refinance share of total mortgage activity increased to 76 percent of applications from 75 percent.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 3.59 percent, down 1 basis point from the week before, and the lowest level since late December.

(Read More: Map: Tracking the US Real Estate Recovery)

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.