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Mortgage apps rose

WASHINGTON -- Mortgage applications in the United States climbed for the first time in a month, reflecting a rebound in refinancing and a fifth straight weekly gain in purchases.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) applications index increased 4.3 percent in the period ended April 11 after a 1.6 percent decline the week before, the Washington-based group said Wednesday. The string of gains in purchases was the longest since November 2012.

The refinancing gauge advanced 6.9 percent, the most since February, after falling to the lowest level of the year.

The purchase-applications measure rose 1.3 percent to the highest level since late January.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan dropped to 4.47 percent last week, a six-week low, from 4.56 percent.

The average on a 15-year mortgage declined to 3.54 percent from 3.62 percent.

The share of applicants seeking to refinance climbed to 51.8 percent, the first increase since mid-January, from the prior week’s 50.7 percent reading that was the lowest since July 2009, the MBA’s report showed.

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