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Mortgage Applications Pick Up as Interest Rates Come Down

A slight decline in interest rates helped boost mortgage application volume last week, the ""Mortgage Bankers Association"":http://mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA) reported Wednesday in its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

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The survey's Market Composite Index, a measure of loan application volume, increased 11.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending September 13. On an [COLUMN_BREAK]

unadjusted basis, the index rose 23 percent week-over-week.

The weekly improvement was aided in part by a rebound in refinance activity, which increased 18 percent from the previous week. The refinance share of total application activity increased to 61 percent from 57 percent previously.

The percentage of refinances done through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) increased to 40 percent, reaching its highest mark since MBA began tracking it in early 2012.

Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 3 percent week-over-week, bringing it close to end-of-August levels. The unadjusted index rose 12 percent and was 1 percent higher than the same week last year.

MBA's measure for the average 30-year fixed interest rate showed a decline to 4.75 percent last week, with points decreasing to 0.39 from 0.46. The previous week's average rate was 4.80 percent.

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