Applications for mortgages grew by 3 percent last week, as demand for refinance loans at low interest rates remained strong. Purchase-loan applications were essentially flat, but applications for refinance loans were up 3.7 percent for the week ending March 27, the Mortgage Bankers Association said today in releasing its Weekly Applications Survey. That's not as dramatic as the 41.5 percent increase in refinancing applications seen during the week ending March 20, following the Federal Reserve's announcement that it would expand its balance sheet by $1.15 trillion to keep interest rates down and stimulate borrowing (see story). But not only has the increased level of refinance applications been sustained, it increased again last week, demonstrating the continued strength of demand. The Refinance Index, a measure of application volume, was up 141 percent from a year ago. Applications for refinancings made up 79.1 percent of all mortgage applications, compared with 53.4 perce...
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