U.S. mortgage applications up 16 percent

Mortgage applications increased 16.6 percent in a week, the Mortgage Bankers Association announced today. The MBA measures mortgage loan application volume on a seasonally adjusted basis. The association attributed the jump to record low interest rates.

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“Financial markets continue to adjust to QE3, as the ongoing presence of the Federal Reserve as a significant buyer of mortgage-backed securities applies downward pressure on rates,” Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics, said in a statement

The refinance share of the mortgage market increased to 83 percent of all applications, up from 81 percent the previous week. — Jane C. Timm