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by CareyBot

Applications for purchase mortgages jumped last week to the highest level of the year as the job market improved and mortgage rates remained below 5 percent, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in releasing the results of its latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.A separate survey by Freddie Mac showed mortgage rates were largely unchanged this week, with rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans below 5 percent for the third week in a row.Freddie Mac's survey showed 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.88 percent with an average 0.7 point this week, up slightly from 4.87 percent last week but down from the 5.05 percent average during the week ending Feb. 10, a high for the year to date.Last year at this time, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.95 percent. The all-time low in Freddi...