By Rodrigo Campos
Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose slightly last week after five consecutive weeks of declines, 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 1 percent in the week ended Dec. 6.
The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications rose 2.1 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, ticked up 0.9 percent. The refinance share of total mortgage activity rose to 65 percent of applications from 63 percent the week before.
Adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, rose to 8.1 percent of total applications and is at its highest level since July of 2008. Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 4.61 percent in the week, the highest since September, up 10 basis points from 4.51 percent the week before.
The survey covers over 75 percent of U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, according to MBA.
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