July 6, 2005

U.S. mortgage applications increase last week-MBA

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Applications for U.S. home mortgagesincreased last week as purchasing and refinancing activityclimbed despite a rise in mortgage rates, an industry groupsaid on Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonallyadjusted index of mortgage application activity increased 9.6percent to 853.4 in the week ended July 1, more than erasingthe previous week's 1.1 percent loss.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancingapplications climbed 10.2 percent to 2788.2, after falling 1.8percent the prior week.

The MBA's purchase index, a gauge of loan requests for homepurchases, rose 9.1 percent to 520.8, after dropping 0.4percent the previous week.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 5.58 percent lastweek, excluding fees, up 11 basis points from 5.47 percent theprevious week.