MBA mortgage applications index climbed 4.5 percent last week

, Bloomberg

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Mortgage applications in the U.S. climbed last week as a decline in borrowing costs prompted more Americans to refinance their homes.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's index increased 4.5 percent in the period ended Nov. 30, the Washington-based group reported today. The refinance index rose 6.1 percent and the gauge of home purchases advanced 0.1 percent.

The average contract rate on a 30-year fixed loan eased to 3.52 percent from 3.53 percent, matching the record low reached in early November. The average on a 15-year mortgage dropped to 2.86 percent from 2.89 percent a week earlier.

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