A sharp surge in interest rates caused mortgage refinances to plummet two weeks ago, but they are now finding their footing again.
Applications to refinance rose 5 percent last week after falling 9 percent the previous week, according to a seasonally adjusted measure by the Mortgage Bankers Association. They are still down 69 percent from a year ago, as mortgage rates are now up well over a full percentage point from January of 2013.
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The average rate on a conforming 30-year fixed loan hit 4.72 percent two weeks ago, after the Federal Reserve announced it would slowly curtail its purchases of mortgage-backed bonds. That rate stayed put last week, causing more borrowers to come back to the refinance market.
The average rate for a jumbo loan is once again below that of conforming at 4.66 percent, as lenders and investors in that market are growing more confident and competitive. They are also not faced with high guarantee fees from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
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