U.S. Mortgage Applications Surge to a 7-Year High

More aspiring U.S. homeowners are signing on the dotted line. An index of applications for mortgages to buy homes rose 10 percent last week to the highest level since May 2010, according to data released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. A combination of low borrowing costs and steady job growth is likely driving the increase, said MBA economist Joel Kan. At the same time, the number may reflect difficulty adjusting for the Memorial Day holiday. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage slipped to 4.14 percent last week, the lowest since mid-November, continuing its retreat from a post-election surge.

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