Industry News

Falling interest rates fuel home-buying spree

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A drop in interest rates last week pushed overall mortgage applications up 5.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today. The MBA's seasonally adjusted purchase index increased by 6.5 percent to 414.2 from 389 the previous week, and the refinance index increased by 5 percent to 1,423.9 from 1,356 one week earlier. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to 29.5 percent of total applications from 29.1 percent the previous week, which pushed the refinance share of mortgage activity down to 35 percent of total applications from 35.3 percent the previous week, MBA reported. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 6.8 percent from 6.86 percent, while points including the origination fee increased to 1.13 from 1.10 for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans. Points, which are fees charged by lenders for loan processing, are expressed as a percent of the total loan a...