Home loan applications climbed last week by the strongest pace in more than a month, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today. The market composite index, which measures total mortgage loan application volume, was up 5.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week before, according to MBA. The index, although it included an adjustment for the fact that banks were closed on Labor Day, has not seen this large of an increase since the Aug. 8 survey when the index rose 8.1 percent. The index that tracks refinancings posted the most growth in the latest survey, rising 6 percent from the previous week, while the purchase loan index gained 5.2 percent. Perhaps the most compelling reason for the upswing in applications was the large decline in interest rates. MBA reported that the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped to 6.25 percent from 6.42 percent, while the rate on 15-year fixed-rate loans slid to 5.9 percent from 6.1 percent and the rate ...
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