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Mortgage Applications on the Rise

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By Amy Hoak, MarketWatch

RISMEDIA, Oct. 12, 2007-(MarketWatch)-The volume of applications filed for mortgages ticked up last week, increasing a seasonally adjusted 2.4% compared with the week before, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday.

Application volume was up 8.6% compared with the same week in 2006, according to the MBA’s weekly survey.

Also on a seasonally adjusted basis, applications to refinance an existing loan rose 2.7% last week compared with the week before, while the volume of mortgages to buy a home was up 2.1%.
The four-week moving average for all loans was down 0.2%.

Refinancings accounted for 46.2% of all applications, up from 46.0% the previous week, according to the survey. Adjustable-rate mortgages made up 13.6%, down from 13.8%.

Interest rates on fixed-rate loans increased on a week-to-week basis, the MBA said.

The rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.40% last week, up from 6.32% the week before, while the rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, popular as a refinancing vehicle, averaged 6.03%, up from 5.95%.

The rate on the one-year ARM decreased to an average 6.15% last week, down from 6.21% the week before, according to the survey.

The MBA survey covers about half of all U.S. retail residential mortgage originations.

Amy Hoak is a MarketWatch reporter based in Chicago.

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