Mortgage Purchase Activity at Highest of Year

Mortgage applications for purchases rose to their highest level of the year last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports. Purchase applications for mortgages increased 12.5 percent from one week earlier, and on an unadjusted basis, purchase application activity is the highest since last May.

“An improving job market is beginning to pave the way for an improving housing market,” says Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s vice president of research and economics. “Additionally, mortgage interest rates remained below 5 percent for a second week, maintaining affordability for buyers and leading to an increase in refinance applications.”

Refinancings also were on the rise last week, increasing 17.2 percent from one week prior. It was the highest the Refinance Index had been in over a month.

Overall, mortgage applications increased 15.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending March 4, compared to one week prior, according to MBA.

Source: “Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey,” Mortgage Bankers Association (March 9, 2011

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