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Mortgage apps rose last week

WASHINGTON -- Mortgage applications in the United States increased for a second straight week as purchasing and refinancing advanced.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index rose 15.2 percent in the week ended Jan. 11, the most since the end of September, after an 11.7 percent increase in the prior week, the group reported Wednesday.

The refinancing gauge rose 15.3 percent and the purchase index climbed by 12.9 percent.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan held last week at 3.61 percent. The cost of a 15-year mortgage remained at 2.88 percent.

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