Joe Raedle/Getty Images A for-sale sign in front of a Miami home on Tuesday. A report Wednesday showed more consumers applied for mortgages last week, driven in part by a drop in mortgage rates. NEW YORK — Applications for U.S. home mortgages rebounded last week as interest rates pulled back for the first time in three weeks, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, rose 7.7 percent in the week ended March 22.
The index has declined for six of the past nine weeks as rates have pulled higher. Still, interest rates remain low on a historical basis, kept down by the Federal Reserve’s efforts to boost the economy by buying bonds and mortgage-backed securities.
The seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications jumped 8 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, gained 6.7 percent.
The refinance share of total mortgage activity was unchanged at 75 percent of applications.
Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 3.79 percent in the week, down 3 basis points from 3.82 percent the week before.
The survey covers more than 75 percent of U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, according to MBA.
Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Leslie Adler.