Loan demand up as rates ease

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Demand for mortgages picked up a seasonally adjusted 13.6 percent from the week before as mortgage rates eased during the week ending April 16, the Mortgage Bankers Association said today in releasing the results of its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 5.04 percent from 5.17 percent for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. Although points increased to 0.98 from 0.91 (including the origination fee), the effective rate still decreased from last week.