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U.S. Mortgage Applications Rise for Third Straight Week

U.S. mortgage applications rose for the third straight week, driven by demand for both purchases and refinancings, an industry trade group report showed Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted applications index increased 3.6% in the week ended May 4 to 680.7, its highest level since 690.5 in the week ended March 9.

Average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates, excluding fees, fell 0.04 percentage point to 6.10%, the lowest since they hit 6.04% in the March 23 week. Long-term borrowing costs have fallen about half a percentage point from a year ago, according to the trade group.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted purchase index rose 2.6% to 438.3, its highest level since 439.7 in the week ended Jan. 12. The group's seasonally adjusted refinancing index showed applications up 4.9% to 2,115.2, its peak since the March 23 week.

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