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US mortgage application index rises to 9-week high
[NEW YORK] US mortgage applications edged up to their highest level in nine weeks as interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages hovered at their lowest in more than a year, a Mortgage Bankers Association data showed on Wednesday.
The latest increase in home loan requests followed Tuesday's disappointing news on housing starts which fell by a steeper-than-forecast 8.8 per cent drop in March to annualized rate of 1.09 million units, the weakest pace since October.
The Washington-based industry group's weekly mortgage market index rose to 526.80 in the period ending April 15, up 1.3 per cent. The latest reading, adjusted for seasonal factors, was the strongest since the week to Feb 12.
The average interest rate on 30-year mortgages, the most widely held type of US home loan, ticked up to 3.83 per cent from last week's 3.82 per cent, which was the lowest since January 2015.
The seasonally adjusted barometer on applications to refinance rose 3 per cent to 2,177.4, the highest in two months, MBA said.
The seasonally adjusted gauge on mortgage requests to buy homes, however, dipped 1 per cent to 240.8 from last week's 241.9, which was the highest since October 2015 and the second highest since May 2010.