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Mortgage activity slips as rates rise

WASHINGTON, March 20 (UPI) — U.S. mortgage activity declined last week, as long-term interest rates rose, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.

The association said mortgage activity declined 7.1 percent from the previous week while refinancing activity dropped 8 percent in the week ending Friday.

Interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rate conforming mortgages increased from 3.81 percent to 3.82 percent during the week. Points for 30-year conforming loans fell from 0.39 to 0.38.

The average interest rate for 30-year contracts on jumbo loans — larger than $417,500 — rose from 3.9 percent to 3.95 percent. Points for 30-year jumbo loans fell from 0.46 to 0.36.

Interest rates for 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose from 3.01 percent to 3.02 percent, with points falling from 0.42 to 0.36.

The average rate for 30-year loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration held steady at 3.53 percent with points falling from 0.38 to 0.31. The average rate for short-term, adjustable-rate mortgages decreased in the week from 2.62 percent to 2.59 percent in the week, with points rising from 0.33 to 0.4, the MBA said.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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