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Mortgage Applications Rise 1.5%

Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose last week, driven by an increase in loan refinancing, an industry trade group said on Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity rose 1.5% to 639.8 in the week ended Feb. 9.

The group's seasonally adjusted refinancing index increased by 4.5% to 2,031.7, overshadowing the 1% dip in the MBA's seasonally adjusted purchase index to 400.7.

All three measures posted slim declines on a seasonally adjusted four-week moving average, but were above year-ago levels.

The seasonally adjusted four-week average for the market index, which measures mortgage loan application volume, was 1.1% lower at 628.1, but up from 574.1 in the same week a
year ago.

The purchase index average was down 2.4% on a four-week moving average at 404.0 but up slightly from 391.7 one year ago.

Meanwhile, the refinance index was off 0.2% at 1,941.0 on a four-week average, but well above a reading of 1,636.7 in the same week a year ago.

Borrowing costs on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, excluding fees, were little changed at 6.24%, compared with 6.23% the prior week, according to the MBA.

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