Mortgage applications in the U.S. rose during the week ended January 14 as interest rates dipped to their lowest levels in a month, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said on Wednesday.
The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, MBA said. On an unadjusted basis, the index increased 6.4 percent compared with the previous week.
Mortgage rates have moved somewhat lower since the beginning of the year, as mixed data on the job market continue to cloud the outlook for the economy, MBA's Vice President of Research and Economics Michael Fratantoni said.
Refinance applications have picked up, as borrowers take advantage of lower rates, but purchase applications remain quite low, indicating that home sales are unlikely to pick up any time soon.
The survey showed refinance index rose 7.7 percent from the previous week, marking the third consecutive weekly increase in refinance applications.
The average interest rate for fixed 30-year mortgage rates fell to 4.77 from 4.78 percent, MBA said.