Demand for loans jumps as rates hold steady

30-year fixed-rate stays under 5% for third week in a row

Applications for purchase mortgages jumped last week to the highest level of the year as the job market improved and mortgage rates remained below 5 percent, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in releasing the results of its latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

A separate survey by Freddie Mac showed mortgage rates were largely unchanged this week, with rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans below 5 percent for the third week in a row.