US Mortgage Applications Up for Third Week

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Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose last week for the third week in a row, boosted by increased demand for refinancings,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 Jan 18.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications gained 7.7percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, added 2.5 percent.

The refinance share of total mortgage activity held steady at 82 percent of applications. Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 3.62 percent, up 1 basis point from the week before.

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