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Mortgage apps rose

WASHINGTON -- Mortgage applications in the United States climbed for the third consecutive week, as a drop in interest rates spurred refinancing.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) applications index increased 0.9 percent in the period ended May 16, after a 3.6 percent gain the week before, the Washington-based group said Wednesday.

The refinancing gauge jumped 3.8 percent to the highest level since the week ended March 14.

The purchase-applications measure fell 2.8 percent.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan declined to 4.33 percent last week, the lowest since November, from 4.39 percent the prior week. The average on a 15-year mortgage fell to 3.43 percent from 3.48 percent.

The share of applicants seeking to refinance climbed to 52 percent, the highest level since March, from the prior week’s 50.3 percent, the MBA’s report showed.

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