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Fed action pushes refis up 82%

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Mortgage application volume jumped 48.1 percent last week following the Federal Reserve's move to cut two key short-term interest rates, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today. According to MBA, the seasonally adjusted increase was led by an 82.2 percent spike in the index that tracks refinance applications, followed by a 10.6 percent gain in the purchase-loan index. As a result, the refinance share of loan applications hit 62 percent, up from 49.7 percent at mid-month. "The Federal Reserve acted last week to bring some stability to the mortgage-backed securities market and we saw an immediate impact with a drop in mortgage rates," Jay Brinkmann, MBA's vice president of research and economics, said in a statement. "With a drop in the 30-year fixed rate of at least a quarter of a point, we saw a sharp increase in refinance applications, but applications for home purchases also increased over where they have been the last few weeks, although still b...