Low rates prompt gain in mortgage activity

March 27, 2013 at 10:30 AM

WASHINGTON, March 27 (UPI) -- U.S. mortgage activity rose last week, as long-term interest rates fell slightly, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.

The association said mortgage activity rose 7.7 percent a week after falling 7.1 percent, when long-term interest rates were headed higher.

From the previous week, the MBA's refinancing activity index rose 8 percent, the trade group said.

Interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rate conforming mortgages decreased from 3.82 percent to 3.79 percent during the week. Points for 30-year conforming loans rose from 0.38 to 0.44.

The average interest rate for 30-year contracts on jumbo loans -- larger than $417,500 -- fell from 3.95 percent to 3.9 percent. Points for 30-year jumbo loans rose from 0.36 to 0.42.

Interest rates for 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages were unchanged at 3.02 percent, with points rising from 0.36 to 0.42.

The average rate for 30-year loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration fell from 3.53 percent to 3.51 percent with points rising from 0.31 to 0.43. The average rate for short-term, adjustable-rate mortgages decreased in the week from 2.59 percent to 2.58 percent in the week, with points falling from 0.4 to 0.32, the MBA said.

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