Home loan applications picked up last week as interest rates held steady, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today. The market composite index, a measure of overall mortgage application volume, rose 1.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week before, according to MBA. The bulk of the increase can be attributed to a 2.3 percent gain in the index that tracks refinancings, followed by a 0.4 percent uptick in the purchase loan index. Interest rates barely budged in the latest survey, as the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages inched up to 6.42 percent from 6.41 percent, the rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages held at 6.1 percent, and the rate on one-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) increased to 6.52 percent from 6.51 percent. Points, which are loan-processing fees expressed as a percent of the total loan amount, averaged 1.09 on the 30-year loans, 1.16 on the 15-year, and 0.93 on one-year ARMs. These points include the origin...
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