Refinancing Drives Mortgage Activity

Mortgage activity rose last week to the highest level in about two months, mainly from borrowers locking in low mortgage rates by refinancing, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday.

Nearly three of every four loan requests last week was for a refinancing rather than a purchase, the industry group said. Total mortgage applications, based on the group’s seasonally adjusted market index, rose 8.5 percent to 665.6, the highest since early October.
Demand for loans to buy a home increased by 4.0 percent to 241.5, the highest since the last week of October, while refinancing applications jumped 11.1 percent to 3,185.9 last week to a two-month high, the industry group’s indexes showed.

Average 30-year mortgage rates rose 0.09 percentage point to 4.88 percent but haven’t moved much from all-time lows.The rate was down from 5.44 percent a year ago and compared with a record low of 4.61 percent set in March, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Source: Reuters, Mortgage Bankers Association (12/9/2009)

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