Mortgage applications rose last week: MBA

NEW YORK Wed Aug 1, 2012 7:13am EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose last week as demand for refinancing edged up, though demand for mortgages for purchases dropped, an industry group said on Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, rose 0.2 percent in the week ended July 27.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications rose 0.8 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, fell 2.1 percent.

The refinance share of total mortgage activity rose to 81.2 percent of applications from 80.8 percent the week before.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 3.75 percent in the week, up 1 basis point from 3.74 percent the week before.

The survey covers over 75 percent of U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, according to MBA.

(Reporting by Anna Louie Sussman; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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