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Mortgage applications up again as average 30-year rates stay below 5%

October 7, 2009 | 10:48 am

The ups and downs of the mortgage business continue -- these days, with some benefit for consumers.


The Mortgage Bankers Assn. reported today that applications for home loans increased 16.4% last week, with refinance and purchase loans up by double digits.

The survey showed the average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages remained below 5% for the third straight week, dipping to 4.89% from 4.94% a week earlier. (The rate assumes borrowers had good credit and made 20% or higher down payments.)


It looked as though borrowers were trying to maximize the benefit by paying more upfront lender fees, or points, to lower the rates.  The bankers groups said the typical points paid rose from 0.94 to 1.13 (a point is 1% of the loan).


The 30-year rate was at its lowest level since May, when it was 4.81%. And the rate on 15-year loans continued to fall to all-time lows, dropping from 4.34% with 1.01 points to 4.32% with 1.04 points.

You can read the industry group survey here.

-- E. Scott Reckard