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Mortgage apps increase

WASHINGTON -- Mortgage applications in the United States rose last week as refinancing activity climbed by the most in two months.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBS) index increased 2.6 percent in the period ended Jan. 3, the first advance in a month.

The MBA also released data for the week ended Dec. 27, which showed the index decreased 4.2 percent to the lowest level since December 2000.

The gauge of purchase applications fell 0.5 percent after rising 2.4 percent the week before.

The measure of refinancing climbed 4.6 percent after decreasing 8.9 percent in the previous period.

The share of applicants seeking to refinance rose to 63.3 percent from 62.5 percent the prior week, Wednesday’s report showed.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan held at 4.72 percent from the prior week, the highest level since Sept. 13.

The average rate on a 15-year mortgage climbed to 3.77 percent, also the highest since Sept. 13, from 3.73 percent the week before.

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