Mortgage applications inched up last week as interest rates fell, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today. The market composite index, which measures total home loan volume, gained 0.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week before. Despite a 2.6 percent drop in refinancings, the index that tracks home purchases rose 2 percent, which pushed overall activity higher. As a result, refinancings lost market share -- down from 38.7 percent of total applications to 37.8 percent -- while the adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share increased from 20.4 percent to 21 percent, according to MBA. Borrowing costs were slightly more affordable last week, as the average contract interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell from 6.6 percent to 6.5 percent, rates on the 15-year fixed-rate loan sank to 6.2 percent from 6.24 percent, and the one-year ARM decreased to 5.49 percent from 5.51 percent. Points, or loan-processing fees expressed as a percent of the total loan amount, aver...
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