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Mortgage apps up last week

WASHINGTON -- Mortgage applications in the U.S. rose last week as home purchases and refinancing increased.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) index climbed 3.4 percent in the week ended Feb. 1 after an 8.1 percent drop in the prior week, the Washington-based group reported Wednesday.

The refinance gauge advanced 3.5 percent, and the purchase index rose 2.2 percent.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan increased to 3.73 percent, the highest since the first week of September, from 3.67 percent.

The cost of a 15-year mortgage rose to 3 percent from 2.95 percent.

The share of applicants seeking to refinance a loan declined to 78.3 percent from 79.1 percent, Wednesday’s MBA report showed.

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