Industry News

Real estate purchases approach 3-year low

Rising rates push focus to refinancings, survey finds

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Despite a sixth straight week of increased refinancing activity, overall mortgage applications dipped 0.9 percent last week on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week before, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today. The seasonally adjusted purchase index fell for a third straight week -- down 1.6 percent to 375.9 from 382.2 the previous week -- and is now at its lowest level since November 2003. The refinance index, however, edged up to 1,609.2 from 1,608.5 one week earlier, and has been positive in each of the last six weeks. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 41.5 percent of total applications from 40.6 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 26.8 percent of total applications from 26.4 percent the previous week. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 6.39 percent from 6.38 percent, with points including the origination fee rising to 1.03 from 0.98 for ...