The total number of mortgage applications filed in the U.S. last week jumped 8% as interest rates crept lower, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.
The market composite index rose 7.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ended March 22 from the previous week, according to MBA's weekly survey, which covers more than three-quarters of all U.S. residential-mortgage applications. The refinance index climbed 8%. The purchasing index, on a seasonally adjusted basis, was up 7% from a week earlier.
Low interest rates have attracted new buyers and persuaded many homeowners to refinance their mortgages. However, tightened credit restrictions still bar many borrowers from filing loan applications.
The share of applications filed to refinance an existing mortgage was unchanged from the previous week at 75%. Adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMS, made up 5% of total activity. The Home Affordable Refinance Program share of refinance applications decreased to 29% from 31% in the prior we