U.S. mortgage refinancing applications rise as rates hit record low: MBA

NEW YORK Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:13am EDT

A U.S. flag decorates a for-sale sign at a home in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, August 21, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

A U.S. flag decorates a for-sale sign at a home in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, August 21, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Applications for home mortgages dipped last week, though demand for refinancings rose as mortgage rates fell to a record low, 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, edged down 0.2 percent in the week ended Sept 14.

The seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications gained 0.80 percent. The gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, tumbled 3.8 percent.

The refinance share of total mortgage activity rose to 81 percent of applications from 80 percent the week before.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates fell 3 basis points to average 3.72 percent, the lowest rate in the history of the survey.

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

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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