U.S. MBA Mortgage Applications Index Increased 7% Last Week

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Mortgage applications in the U.S. increased for a third straight week as purchasing and refinancing advanced.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index rose 7 percent in the week ended Jan. 18 after a 15.2 percent increase in the prior week, the Washington-based group reported today. The refinance gauge went up 7.7 percent and the purchase index climbed 2.5 percent.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan increased to 3.62 percent from 3.61 percent. The cost of a 15-year mortgage fell to 2.87 percent from 2.88 percent.

The share of applicants seeking to refinance a loan was little changed at 81.6 percent, today’s report showed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeanna Smialek in Washington at jsmialek1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net