Overall mortgage purchases jumped 25.6 percent last week to 8-month highs on a seasonally adjusted basis, as borrowers scrambled to refinance with lower interest rates, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly survey. The MBA seasonally adjusted refinance index increased by 39.7 percent to 4,983.7 from 3,567.6 one week earlier. The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased by 5.6 percent to 452.4 from 428.6 the previous week. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 62.8 percent of total applications from 56.1 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate-mortgage share of activity decreased to 27.9 percent of total applications from 28.1 percent the previous week. "We have been expecting a sharp up tick in refinance applications as borrowers became more aware of the low rates now available, whether through ads by lenders, from direct solicitations or from stories in the news media," said Jay Brinkmann, MBA's vice president of research and economics...
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