Mortgage Applications Rose Last Week as Rates Fell

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Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose last week, fueled by demand for refinancings as interest rates dropped, 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 1.8 percent in the week ended April 26.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications climbed 2.8 percent. But the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, slipped 1.4 percent.

The refinance share of total mortgage activity was unchanged at 75 percent of applications.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 3.60 percent, down 5 basis points from 3.65 percent. It was the lowest level for rates since late last year.

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