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Mortgage refinancing requests climb 21 percent

NEW YORK CITY — Applications for mortgage refinancings jumped last week to close to the highest level all year, while purchase applications lagged.

The Mortgage Bankers Association says overall applications rose 14.6 percent from a week earlier, driven by a 21 percent increase in applications to refinance home loans. Applications for loans to purchase homes, however, tumbled 8.5 percent from a week earlier.

Rates have been at or near the lowest level in decades since spring as investors have poured money into safer Treasury bonds, lowering their yields. Mortgage rates tend to track those yields. However the weak economy has dissuaded would-be homebuyers from purchasing.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan dipped to 4.21 percent from 4.25 percent a week earlier.