Industry NewsMortgage

Demand for refis falls

Increase in mortgage rates offset by lower fees

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Demand for purchase mortgages was up a seasonally adjusted 2.7 percent last week compared to the week before, but was down 15 percent from a year ago, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in releasing the results of its latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. Applications for refinancings were down 7.1 percent from the week before, even though an increase in interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages was offset by reduced lender fees, the survey showed. Requests for refinancings accounted for 65 percent of total applications -- the lowest share since October. For the week ending March 19, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.01 percent from 4.91 percent, with points decreasing to 0.76 from 1.3 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The effective rate was essentially unchanged from last week due to the decrease in points, the MBA said. The average contract interest rate fo...