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U.S. mortgage applications rose last week

Even as mortgage rates climbed for the eighth consecutive week, new U.S. mortgage applications rose last week for a second straight week.
/ Source: Reuters

New U.S. mortgage applications rose last week for a second straight week, even as mortgage rates climbed for the eighth consecutive week, an industry trade group said  Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted market index, a measure of weekly mortgage activity, rose for the week ending April 30 by 4.4 percent to 780.9 from the previous week’s 748.

Average 30-year mortgage rates, excluding fees, rose by 9 basis points to 6.10 percent. Last week’s average 30-year rates were up 57 basis points from the comparable week a year ago.

The current rise in mortgage rates has reduced refinancing activities from their mid-March peak, but it has not curbed loan demand for home purchases given the availability of adjustable-rate mortgages, which carry lower interest rates than fixed-rate mortgages.

The Washington trade group’s purchase index, a gauge of new loan requests for home purchases rose for a third consecutive week. It climbed last week by 4.1 percent to 482.5 from 463.5 in the prior week.

The group’s refinancing index rose after falling five weeks in a row. It increased last week by 4.7 percent to 2,516 from previous week’s 2,403.