U.S. mortgage applications rise to 11-year high, MBA report shows

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June 17 (UPI) -- New U.S. mortgage applications have risen for a ninth consecutive week and are at the highest level in 11 years, industry figures showed Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said new applications have climbed 7 percent and are 21 percent higher than a year ago, reflecting demand built up during the COVID-19 pandemic and appealing, record-low interest rates.

"The housing market continues to experience the release of unrealized pent-up demand from earlier this spring, as well as a gradual improvement in consumer confidence," said Joel Kan, MBA associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.

Lower rates have led to a 10 percent surge in refinance applications, indicating homeowners are anxious to save on mortgage payments during "a still-uncertain period of the economic recovery," Kan said.

Average rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 3.3 percent last week, the lowest level in the 30-year history of the MBA weekly applications survey.

Refinancing applications made up 63.2 percent of the total figure, an increase of almost 2 percent.

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