WASHINGTON, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Mortgage applications in the United States rose last week, as move-up and higher-end buyers had become a greater share of the spring market, Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said on Wednesday.
For the week ending Friday, the MBA's market composite index, a measure of the mortgage loan application volume, rose 2.3 percent from one week earlier.
"Purchase applications have now increased year-over-year for four weeks, which signals healthy demand entering the busy spring buying season," said Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting at the MBA.
"The pick-up in the average loan size continues, with the average balance reaching another record high. With more inventory in their price range compared to first-time buyers, move-up and higher-end buyers continue to have strong success finding a home," said Kan.
Meanwhile, the purchase index also increased 6 percent from one week earlier, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The MBA's data also showed that the refinance index, a gauge of mortgage refinance activity in the United States, dropped 0.2 percent from the previous week. Compared with a 2-percent drop one week earlier, the drop rate was significantly narrowed.