|Homebuyers still buying as interest rates rise|
Increasing mortgage rates haven't seem to deter homebuyers racing to meet the soon to-expire tax credit.
While the number of refinance applications fell as mortgage rates hit their highest level since August, requests for home purchase loans were steady, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
The purchase index rose half a percent from the week before, but was still down 18.1 percent from a year earlier. The increase pushed the share of government purchase applications to 49.9 percent of total applications, its highest share in more than 20 years, according to the bankers' group.
The Austin Board of Realtors said home sales here increased 4 percent year-over-year in February, its most recent statistical period, and properties are spending less time on the market.
The national Market Composite Index, which measures mortgage loan application volume, fell 11 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending April 2, compared with the previous week.
"Mortgage rates jumped last week as the Federal Reserve completed their purchases of mortgage-backed securities," said Michael Fratantoni, the association's vice president of research and economics.
Refinance activity fell to 58.7 percent of total mortgage applications from 63.2 percent. That’s the lowest observed in the survey since the week ended Aug. 28, 2009, according to the association.
The average interest rate for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.31 percent from 5.04 percent, the highest 30-year rate recorded in the survey since the first week of August 2009.
The average interest rate for 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.54 percent from 4.34 percent.
The average interest rate for one-year adjustable-rate mortgages increased to 7.03 percent from 6.88 percent.
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