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Mortgage applications spike to start March


Mortgage applications improved recently.

The level of residential mortgage applications during the final few days of February and the first part of March increased significantly.

Total mortgage applications rose nearly 15 percent during the week ending March 1, compared to one week earlier, a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association explained. This was actually the lowest gain in the report, as the Purchase Index of the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey jumped 15 percent during the week.

The Refinance Index also improved markedly, jumping 15 percent from one week earlier, the report noted. Despite the significant gain, the refinance share of all mortgage activity during the month remained at a steadfast 77 percent. Mortgages with adjustable rates had a total share of 4 percent of all application activity during the same week.

Falling mortgage rates likely played a part in the improvements in the level of mortgage applications. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 3.51 percent for the week ending February 28, according to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey. This was down from the previous week's level of 3.56 percent.

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