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Mortgage apps rise

WASHINGTON -- Mortgage applications in the United States rose for a second week, as more Americans refinanced their properties and purchases picked up.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) index climbed 2.8 percent in the period ended Aug. 22 after a 1.4 percent advance the prior week, the Washington-based trade group reported Wednesday.

The refinancing gauge also climbed 2.8 percent following a 2.7 percent advance.

The purchase applications measure rose 2.6 percent, the first increase since July.

The share of applicants seeking to refinance climbed to 55.7 percent of loans, the highest since mid-March, from 55.1 percent a week earlier, the MBA’s report showed.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan fell to 4.28 percent from 4.29 percent.

The average 15-year mortgage rate climbed to 3.47 percent from 3.44 percent.

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