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Mortgage applications jump as interest rates continue to slip

Ken Martin

Applications for new mortgages continue to rise from week to week.

Mortgage applications rose 5.2 percent in the past week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Application Survey.

The refinancing index rose 10 percent from the previous week and was 163 percent higher than the same week a year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 60.4 percent of total applications, up from 58 percent in the prior week.

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“U.S. Treasury rates moved sharply lower last week, as data showing weakness in the services sector was a sign that slowing economic growth is not confined to the manufacturing sector. This in turn caused a flight to safety by investors, resulting in mortgage rates dropping across the board, with the 30-year fixed rate decreasing nine basis points to 3.9 percent –the lowest level in a month,” said Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting at the Mortgage Bankers Association. “As seen a few times this year, the large drop in rates caused another surge in refinance applications. The refinance index increased 10 percent to its highest level since late August, with both conventional and government refinances experiencing an upswing.”

The adjustable-rate mortgage shares of activity slipped to 5.3 percent of the total.

In the past week, the average 30-year mortgage rate slipped to 3.90 percent from 3.99 percent a week ago.

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The survey has been conducted weekly since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all U.S. retail mortgage applications.

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