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Home purchase activity rises during holiday week

Mortgage applications to purchase homes rose last week, but refinancing activity fell to its lowest level in 18 years, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

In the week ending July 6, MBA’s composite application index rose by 2.5 percent from the prior week. The index was adjusted to account for the Fourth of July holiday. On an unadjusted basis, applications were down 18 percent.

The adjusted purchase index increased by 7 percent. The refinance index was down 4 percent from the previous week, and fell to its lowest level since December 2000. The refinance share of mortgage activity was down 2.4 percentage points to 34.8 percent, the lowest share of the market since August 2008.

"The strong job market continues to bolster demand for homes, with purchase volume up 8 percent year over year, even as the lack of inventory still is holding back the pace of sales," MBA Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni said. "Nevertheless, the mix of business continues to move towards loans for home purchase."


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