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U.S. mortgage applications rise in latest week: MBA

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[May 07, 2014]   NEW YORK (Reuters) Applications for U.S. home mortgages climbed last week as interest rates fell, an industry group said on Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, rose 5.3 percent in the week ended May 2. That's a rebound from the previous week, when applications for U.S. home mortgages fell to their lowest level since December 2000.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications rose 2.4 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, jumped 8.9 percent.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 4.43 percent in the week, the lowest since November 2013. It was down 6 basis points from 4.49 percent the week before.

The survey covers over 75 percent of U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, according to MBA.

On Tuesday, MBA said first-quarter commercial and multifamily mortgage loan originations were down 1 percent from the same period a year ago and down 45 percent from the fourth-quarter of 2013.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Diane Craft)

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