Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mortgage Applications Spike

by D. Babbs

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- U.S. mortgage applications surged in the latest week, driven by a spike in demand for refinancing as the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate home loans fell, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday.

Refinancing applications jumped 30% in the week ended March 13 as the borrowing rate dipped 0.07 percentage point to 4.89%, tying the record low reached in early January in a survey that dates to 1990.

The MBA's market index, which includes both purchase and refinance loans, jumped 21.2% to 876.9, the highest since mid-January.

But purchase applications rose just 1.5% last week to 257.1, a one-month high.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted refinancing applications index jumped 29.6% in the week ended March 13 to 4,497.6, also the highest level since mid-January.

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