November 24, 2010 / 12:08 PM / in 7 years

Home purchase mortgages buoy applications: MBA

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. mortgage applications for home purchases rose to their highest level in more than six months last week, buoying activity otherwise weighed down by waning refinancing, an industry group reported on Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted purchase applications index jumped 14.4 percent to 205.0 in the week ended November 19, the highest since the week ending May 7, the MBA said on Wednesday. The refinancing index slumped 1 percent to 3,793.6.

The composite index, which includes loans for home purchases and refinancings, increased 2.1 percent to 728.8, the MBA said.

“The increase in purchase applications last week aligns with other incoming data suggesting that consumers are feeling somewhat more confident with their financial situation,” Michael Fratantoni, the MBA’s vice president of research and economics, said in a statement.

Borrowing costs on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 4.5 percent from 4.46 percent in the week, the MBA said. The rate last month reached 4.21 percent, the lowest level in the survey, which has been conducted weekly since 1990.

Rates for fixed 15-year mortgages averaged 3.83 percent, down from 3.87 percent in the previous week.

Reporting by Al Yoon; Editing by Diane Craft

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