Demand for purchase mortgages rose last week driven mostly by increased appetite for conventional loans rather than for government loans, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported.

Applications for purchase loans increased a seasonally adjusted 3 percent for the week ending March 21 compared to a week earlier but were down 17 percent on an annual basis, according to the latest Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

Applications for conventional purchase drove the increase, as government purchase applications like applications for loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration stayed mostly flat, the MBA said.

The rise in purchase mortgage applications came as the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a balance of $417,000 or less climbed to its highest level since January of this year, rising to 4.56 percent from 4.5 percent a week earlier, according to the MBA.

Source: MBA

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