Mortgage applications rise to 3-year high
|The Washington, D.C., headquarters of major home financier Freddie Mac. (Freddie Mac / September 6, 2012)|
Applications to refinance home mortgages rose last week to their highest level in more than three years, as homeowners sought out record low interest rates caused by the Federal Reserve’s continued purchase of mortgage-backed securities.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said refinance applications increased 20 percent from the previous week, pushing the refinance index higher than it’s been since April 2009. Home purchase applications, meanwhile, rose 4 percent last week.
Last week, each of the five mortgage rates in the trade group’s survey dropped to new record lows, including an average contract interest rate of 3.53 percent for a 30-year, fixed-rate conforming mortgage.
The association said refinancing applications accounted for 83 percent of all applications last week, up from 81 percent the prior week.