August 19, 2015 / 11:09 AM / 2 years ago

Mortgage applications up in latest week: MBA

Single family homes for sale are seen in San Marcos, California in this October 25, 2013 file photo.Mike Blake

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose last week as refinancing applications jumped, 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 3.6 percent in the week ended Aug. 14.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications climbed 7.2 percent, hitting its highest level since May. The gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, dipped 1.1 percent.

The refinance share of total mortgage activity rose to 55.5 percent of applications from 53.1 percent the week before.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 4.11 percent in the week, the lowest level since May. They were down 2 basis points from 4.13 percent the previous week.

"Concerns about the Chinese economy pushed interest rates down last week," said Lynn Fisher, MBA's vice president of research and economics. "The pick-up in refinance activity was led by larger loan sizes on average, as continued investor interest drove jumbo interest rates down even further."

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

Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Chris Reese

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