Mortgage rates stay put at 7%, but first-time buyers aren’t holding back

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The numbers: U.S. mortgage applications ticked up, driven by an increase in first-time home-buying activity, despite rates staying over 7%. 

The overall market composite index — a measure of mortgage application volume — rose in the last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said on Wednesday. 

The market index rose 9.7%…

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