Industry NewsMortgage

Falling rates fuel home-buying spree

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Lower interest rates helped fuel a rush on mortgage applications last week, sending application volume up 15.6 percent from two weeks ago, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today. According to the trade group, a 19.3 percent jump in the index that tracks refinance applications led the seasonally adjusted increase, followed by a 12.1 percent rise in the purchase loan index. As a result, the refinance share of applications gained from 45.7 percent to 47.1 percent, and the adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share increased from 5.9 percent to 6.8 percent. The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dipped to 5.91 percent last week from 6.01 percent; the average rate on 15-year fixed loans declined to 5.49 percent from 5.53 percent; and the average one-year ARM rate decreased to 6.77 percent from 6.86 percent. The points (loan fees expressed as a percent of the loan amount) that borrowers paid to attain these rates sank across all loan types. On 30-year loans, poin...