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Mortgage activity surges with rates down

March 6, 2013 at 10:44 AM

WASHINGTON, March 6 (UPI) -- U.S. mortgage activity rose last week, while long-term interest rates dropped, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.

The association said mortgage activity jumped 14.8 percent from the previous week, while refinancing activity rose 15 percent in the week ending Friday.

Interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rate conforming mortgages fell from 3.77 percent to 3.7 percent during the week. Points for 30-year conforming loans fell from 0.48 to 0.39.

The average interest rate for 30-year contracts on jumbo loans -- larger than $417,500 -- decreased from 3.93 percent to 3.8 percent. Points for 30-year jumbo loans held steady at 0.37.

Interest rates for 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages fell from 3.03 percent to 2.96 percent, with points rising from 0.34 to 0.36.

The average rate for 30-year loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration fell from 3.54 percent to 3.47 percent, with points falling from 0.41 to 0.33. The average rate for short-term, adjustable-rate mortgages fell from 2.65 percent to 2.55 percent in the week, with points rising from 0.36 to 0.37, the MBA said.

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