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Mortgage apps rise

WASHINGTON -- Mortgage applications in the United States increased last week, as more people sought to refinance their properties.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) index rose 2.4 percent in the period ended July 18 after dropping 3.6 percent the prior week, the Washington-based trade group reported Wednesday.

The refinancing gauge jumped 4.1 percent. The share of applicants seeking to refinance rose to 54.4 percent, the highest since mid-March, from 53.6 percent the prior week.

The measure of purchase applications increased 0.3 percent after tumbling 7.6 percent the week before.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan held at 4.33 percent, while the rate on 15-year mortgage rose to 3.47 percent from 3.41 percent.

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