U.S. mortgage applications jump as loan rates fall: MBA

Homes are seen under construction in the northwest area of Portland, Oregon March 20, 2014. Would-be buyers risk being crowded out by the run-up in home prices and mortgage rates over the past year. Home values nationwide were up 12 percent in January from the same month last year, according to data firm CoreLogic, while mortgage rates have jumped about a full percentage point. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola (UNITED STATES - Tags: REAL ESTATE BUSINESS) - RTR3HYBN

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. mortgage applications jumped last week as interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to their lowest in more than a year, supporting the view of a sturdy housing market, data from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed on Wednesday.

The Washington-based industry group’s mortgage market index rose to 520.2 in the week ended April 8, up 10 percent from the prior week. The latest reading that was adjusted for seasonally factors was the strongest since the week of Feb. 21.

The weekly seasonally-adjusted gauge on mortgage requests to buy homes rose 8 percent to 241.9, which was the highest since October 2015 and the second highest since May 2010, MBA said.

The seasonally-adjusted barometer on applications to refinance increased 11.3 percent last week to 2,122.0, the highest in seven weeks.

The average interest rate on 30-year mortgages, the most widely held type of U.S. home loan, fell 4 basis points to 3.82 percent, which was the lowest since January.

Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama