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Mortgage apps rise

WASHINGTON -- Mortgage applications in the United States rose for a third straight week, as the lowest interest rate on a 30-year loan in more than a year encouraged Americans to refinance.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) index increased 0.2 percent in the period ended Aug. 29 after a 2.8 percent advance the prior week, the Washington-based trade group reported Wednesday.

The refinance measure climbed 1.4 percent, while the purchase gauge dropped 1.5 percent.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan declined to 4.25 percent, its lowest level since June 2013, from 4.28 percent the prior week.

The average rate on a 15-year mortgage was little changed at 3.48 percent from 3.47 percent.

The share of applicants seeking to refinance climbed to 57 percent, the highest since February, from 55.7 percent the prior week, today’s report showed.

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