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Refinance Demand Lifts Mortgage Application Volume

Refinance applications climbed to a three-month high last week, giving a boost to total application volume for the fourth straight week.

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The Market Composite Index in the ""Mortgage Bankers Association's"":http://mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA) weekly applications survey rose a seasonally adjusted 1.8 percent for the week ending April 26, the group reported. Unadjusted, the index was up 2 percent week-over-week.

The Refinance Index increased 3 percent from the previous week, rising to its highest level since the week ending January 18. The refinance share of total mortgage activity remained flat at 75 percent, however. The share of refinance applications done under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) increased to 34 percent, its highest level since MBA began tracking HARP applications in February 2012.

Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index fell 1.4 percent from one week earlier, while the unadjusted index dropped 0.5 percent. Even with the decline, the unadjusted index was still 13 percent higher than the same week last year, MBA reported.

The average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.60 percent last week, down from 3.65 percent the week before. Last week's rate was the lowest recorded by MBA since December 2012, matching the trend of weekly declines reported by ""Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com"":https://themreport.com/articles/downward-trend-continues-for-mortgage-rates-2013-04-25 over the last several weeks.

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