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Get information on education programs that could help you increase your earning power. Quick Degree Finder Select a Degree Level Certificate Programs Associates Degree Bachelors Degree Masters Degree Doctoral Degree Select a Category Select a Subject Mortgage applications at 4-month high as rates fall Updated document.write(niceDate('10/7/2009 6:23 PM')); | Comment  | Recommend E-mail | Print | .addthis_button_email span {display: none;} .addthis_button_print span {display: none;}  MORE ON MORTGAGE RATESNationwide rates: Chart mortgage rates, see rates in your state and moreCALCULATE: Your mortgage payments under different scenarios | More calculatorsTIPS: Have a stress-free refinancingEXPERT OPINION: Will mortgage rates rise? fall? | Bankrate.com's full rate trend report var storyURL = "http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2009-10-07-mortgage-applications-rates_N.htm"; var storyTitle = "Mortgage applications at 4-month high as rates fall"; var articleSummary = "Mortgage applications surged last week to their highest level since mid-May as consumers sought to take advantage of the lowest interest rates in months, The Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday."; document.write(''); if (typeof(articleSummary) == 'undefined'){ var articleSummary =""; } var articleSource = "USATODAY.com"; var yahooBuzzArticleId = 'usatoday:'+storyURL+'?csp=34'; var yahooBuzzBadgeType = 'text'; var twtUrl = usatlyshorturl; var maxLength = 140 - (twtUrl.length + 1); var twtSource = 'RT @USATODAY' if (storyTitle.length > maxLength) { storyTitle = storyTitle.substr(0, (maxLength - 5))+'...'; } var twtLink = 'http://twitter.com/home?status='+encodeURIComponent( twtSource + ' ' + storyTitle + ' ' + twtUrl ); function GetThis(T, C, U, L) { var targetUrl = 'http://www.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=postto&' + 't=' + encodeURIComponent(T) + '&c=' + encodeURIComponent(C) + '&u=' + encodeURIComponent(U) + '&l=' + L; window.open(targetUrl); } var sclListTop = ""; sclListTop +='; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +=' Share'; /*sclListTop +=' ';*/ sclListTop +='  Add to Mixx'; sclListTop +='  Facebook'; sclListTop +='  '; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +=' More'; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +='  Fark'; sclListTop +='  Digg'; sclListTop +='  Reddit'; sclListTop +='  MySpace'; sclListTop +='  StumbleUpon'; sclListTop +='  Propeller'; sclListTop +='  LinkedIn'; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +='; jQuery("#topSocialButtons").append(sclListTop); jQuery(".share-nav").treeview({control: ".treecontrol",animated: "medium",collapsed: true}); jQuery(function() { jQuery.ajax({ type: "GET", url: "/marketing/rss/settings.xml", dataType: "xml", success: BuildSubscribeButtons }); }); function BuildSubscribeButtons(xml) { // Build SSTS array var url = document.location.toString(); var urlArray = url.split("/") var nurl = ""; for (i = 3; i 0) { idx = nurl.indexOf('|'); jQuery(xml).find('add').each(function(){ if (jQuery(this).attr('key') == nurl) { feedid = jQuery(this).attr('value'); } }); if (feedid == "") { nurl = nurl.replace(/(.*)\|(.*)/,"$1"); } } jQuery(xml).find('add').each(function(){ if (jQuery(this).attr('key') == feedid) { feedname = jQuery(this).attr('value'); } }); if (feedname == "") feedname = "usatoday-NewsTopStories.xml"; var sclListTop = ""; sclListTop +='; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +=' Subscribe'; sclListTop +='  myYahoo'; sclListTop +='  iGoogle'; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +=' More'; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +='  Netvibes'; sclListTop +='  myAOL'; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +=' '; sclListTop +='; jQuery("#topSocialButtons").append(sclListTop); jQuery(".subscribe-nav").treeview({control: ".treecontrol",animated: "medium",collapsed: true}); } By Julie Haviv, Reuters NEW YORK — Mortgage applications surged last week to their highest level since mid-May as consumers sought to take advantage of the lowest interest rates in months, The Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday. The MBA said rates on 30-year fixed mortgages, the most widely used loan, were below 5% for a third week, hitting a four-month lowDemand for home refinancing loans was the highest since mid-May. Appetite for applications to buy a home, a tentative early indicator of sales, climbed to the highest level since early JanuaryThe trend bodes well for the hard-hit U.Shousing market, which has been showing signs of stabilizing. The MBA said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications, which includes both purchase and refinance loans, for the week ended Oct2 increased 16.4% to 756.3, highest since the week ended May 22. "The residential housing market appears to be stabilizing due to lower mortgage rates," said Alan Rosenbaum, president of Guardhill Financial, a New York-based mortgage banker and brokerage company. "The affordability factor, which takes into consideration both price and mortgage rates, has been very positive of late," he said. Low mortgage rates, high affordability and the federal government's $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers — part of the stimulus bill — have helped pave the way for stabilization. But with the tax credit set to expire Nov30 and distressed properties making up a high proportion of sales, the recent uptick in activity may mask uncertainty about the long-term outlook. Rising unemployment is another obstacleThe Labor Department last week said the jobless rate reached a 26-year high 9.8% in September. Borrowing costs on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, excluding fees, averaged 4.89%, down 0.05 percentage point from the previous week and the lowest since the week ended May 22. The rate remained above the all-time low 4.61% set the week ended March 27The survey has been conducted weekly since 1990Interest rates were well below the year-ago level of an average 5.99%. Fixed 15-year mortgage rates averaged 4.32%, down from 4.34% the previous weekRates on one-year ARMs increased to 6.56% from 6.40%. The MBA's seasonally adjusted purchase index rose 13.2% to 306.1, highest since the week ended Jan2. The four-week moving average of mortgage applications, which smooths the volatile weekly figures, was up 4.2%. The Mortgage Bankers seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications increased 18.2% to 3,377.1, with the index at its highest since the week ended May 22. The refinance share of applications increased to 66.3% from 65.3% the previous week, but remained significantly lower than the peak of 85.3% the week ended Jan9The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity fell to 6.1% from 6.2% the prior week. The U.Shousing market has suffered the worst downturn since the Great Depression. The housing market, however, has been showing signs of stabilization, with sales rising and price declines moderating in many regions of the country.Home prices in some areas have risen. Some analysts, however, say prices may fall again, with a new wave of foreclosures in the pipeline.

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