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As home prices bump up, so has mortgage borrower activity

Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 3:52:47 PM

Perhaps unsurprisingly, consumers continue heading to lenders to secure mortgages in the early goings of 2013, as rates remain low and home prices continue to hike nationwide.

During the week ending January 11, overall mortgage application activity spiked 15.2 percent, according to a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association. This was caused, in part, by a 13 percent increase in purchase requests from a week earlier.

Meanwhile, the refinancing share of mortgage requests rose 15 percent in the same period, the report said. As a result, this type of activity account for an 82 percent share of mortgage applications.

Property values tend to soften in the fall and winter months. However, strong consumer demand prevented this from happening in November. During the month, home prices across the country surged 7.4 percent on an annual basis, according to a report from CoreLogic. This was the first time since the real estate bubble burst that such massive gains were recorded.

In an unexpected change of events, some of the hardest-hit states following the housing market collapse, experience the largest home price gains in November. Arizona led the way with a 20.9 percent increase, followed closely by Nevada and Idaho, which experienced gains of 14.2 and 13.8 percent, respectively, the report said.