Increased demand for both purchase and refinance loans drove a 6.6 percent increase in mortgage applications last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in releasing the results of its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. Requests for purchase loans for the week ending June 19 were up 7.3 percent from the previous week, and applications for refinancings rose 5.9 percent. Compared to a year ago, applications for mortgages are up 17.2 percent, the MBA said.The MBA this week cut its forecast for total 2009 mortgage originations by more than $700 billion, or 27 percent, saying rising interest rates and a slow start to the Obama administration's Making Home Affordable loan refinance program have slowed a boom in refinancing (see story).Refinancings still accounted for 54 percent of mortgage applications last week, compared with 36 percent a year ago.The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 5.44 percent from 5.5 percent, with points increasing to ...
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