Demand for purchase loans up

Mortgage rates expected to hit 6% this year

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Applications for purchase loans for the week ending March 5 were up a seasonally adjusted 5.7 percent from the week before, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in releasing the results of its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

Applications for refinancings were down 1.5 percent, as the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.01 percent from 4.95 percent, with points decreasing to 0.82 from 0.99 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.