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Mortgage applications increase despite rising interest rates

Feb. 6, 2013 at 1:10 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. mortgage activity rose 3.4 percent in the week that ended Friday, with long-term interest rates rising, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.

The association said its refinancing activity index also rose, climbing 4 percent compared to the previous week.

Although a weekly survey does not show long-term trends, rising mortgage activity in a week of rising interest rates indicates a stronger housing market, with demand increasing despite higher costs.

Interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rate conforming mortgages rose from 3.67 percent to 3.73 percent during the week. Points for 30-year conforming loans fell from 0.39 to 0.38.

The average interest rate for 30-year contracts on jumbo loans -- larger than $417,500 -- rose from 3.95 percent to 3.96 percent. Points for 30-year jumbo loans fell from 0.39 to 0.38.

Interest rates for 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose from 2.95 percent to 3 percent, with points falling from 0.38 to 0.33.

The average rate for 30-year loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration rose from 3.48 percent to 3.53 percent, with points rising from 0.33 to 0.38. The average rate for short-term, adjustable-rate mortgages rose from 2.6 percent to 2.72 percent in the week, with points falling from 0.33 to 0.3, the MBA said.

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