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Mortgage apps rise

WASHINGTON -- Mortgage applications in the United States rose for a third consecutive week as a drop in mortgage rates spurred a pickup in refinancing.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) index climbed 4.7 percent in the period ended Jan. 17, to reach the highest level in almost two months, the Washington-based trade group reported Wednesday.

The refinance measure advanced 9.9 percent, while the purchase gauge declined 3.6 percent from a seven-week high.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan fell to 4.57 percent from 4.66 percent the previous period.

The average rate on a 15-year mortgage dropped to 3.68 percent from 3.72 percent.

The share of applicants seeking to refinance increased to 64.1 percent from 62.3 percent in the previous period, according to the report.

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