U.S. mortgage activity edges up, even as rates head higher

U.S. mortgage application activity rebounded from its lowest since January despite interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate home loans hitting their highest in over 2-1/2 years, Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) data showed on Wednesday. The Washington-based industry group said its measure for requests for mortgages rose in the week ended Dec. 16 to 407.3, up 2.5 percent from the prior week’s 397.5, its lowest since 328.6 in the week ended Jan. 1. The average rate on 30-year conforming loans with balances of $417,000 or less, which mortgage agencies Fannie Mae (FNMA.PK) and Freddie Mac (FMCC.PK) guarantee, jumped to 4.41 percent, the highest since May 2014, the MBA said.

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