Overall mortgage applications inched up 0.1 percent last week on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week before, taken higher by borrowers scrambling to refinance, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today. The seasonally adjusted refinance index increased by 1.3 percent to 1,608.5 from 1,587.5 one week earlier, and has been positive in each of the last five weeks. The purchase index decreased for a second straight week, down 1 percent to 382.2 from 385.9 the previous week. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 40.6 percent of total applications from 39.6 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 26.4 percent of total applications from 27.2 percent the previous week, and is now at its lowest level since February 2004. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 6.38 percent from 6.54 percent, with points including the origination fee remaining at 0.98 for 80 percent loan-t...
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