U.S. mortgage applications climbed last week - MBA

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NEW YORK, Oct 10 (Reuters) Demand for applications to purchase U.S. homes and refinance existing mortgages rose last week, after total loan requests fell the prior two weeks, an industry trade group said on Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of home loan application activity increased 2.4 percent to 652.0 in the week ended Oct. 5.

The index has been fairly range-bound in recent weeks, after slipping to about 607 both in February and again in July, and rising as high as about 691 in March.

The trade group's gauge of home purchase applications gained 2.1 percent to 420.2, and the refinancing measure rose 2.7 percent to 2,003.2 on a seasonally adjusted basis last week.

Homeowners are scrambling to refinance adjustable mortgages before they reset to much higher interest rates.

REUTERS MP PM1915

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