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Mortgage applications rise 4.5%

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Mortgage applications edged up 4.5% last week when compared to a week earlier, an industry trade group said Wednesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association released its market composite index, which shows applications up 4.5%. Refinancing activity also grew with the refinance index increasing 3.3% from a week earlier. The purchase index also grew 8.1%, while the unadjusted purchase index is now 41.9% higher than last year. Refinancing activity overall represented 80.8% of all new mortgage applications, down from 81.9% a week earlier. Interest rates still remain well below 5% with the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with a conforming loan limit edging up to 4.11%, compared to 4.07% a week ago. The average interest rate on a 30-year, FRM with a jumbo-loan balance declined to 4.34% from 4.41% the previous week. The average 30-year, FRM backed by the FHA remained unchanged at 3.96%. In addition, the 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.40% from 3.37%, while the 5/1 ARMs rate declined to 2.90% from 2.91% last week. Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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