Mortgage loan application volumes to either purchase or refinance a home in the U.S. increased 12 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis over the past week and were up 15 percent in the absolute, with a 12 percent increase in applications to purchase a home, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

On a year-over-year basis, however, refinancing activity was down 50 percent and purchase activity was 7 percent lower, with the benchmark mortgage rate nearing a 2-year high and the inventory of new homes on the market having increased to a 13-year high with new sales lagging the pace of construction.

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