Mortgage Applications in U.S. Rose Last Week as Rates Declined

Mortgage applications in the U.S. increased for the second time in the last three weeks as borrowing costs declined.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index rose 0.9 percent in the period ended Dec. 19 after a 3.3 percent drop the week before, figures from the Washington-based group showed today. The refinancing gauge advanced 1.1 percent, while the purchase- applications measure climbed 1.3 percent.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan declined to a more than one-year low of 4.02 percent last week from 4.06 percent. The average on a 15-year mortgage dropped to 3.29 percent from 3.33 percent.

The share of all applicants seeking to refinance increased to 66.8 percent, the highest since June 2013, from the prior week’s 66.4 percent, today’s report showed.

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