Home loan refinancing applications climbed 18 percent two weeks ago from the week prior, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday, as interest rates fell below 5 percent for the first time since May,

However, the Federal Reserve plans to slow its purchases of mortgage-related debt and end the program next year, which may push rates higher. Refinancing some government loans will also get tougher next month, as borrowers who want to refinance a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration Will be required to have made six months of payments and show proof of assets, job and income.

If you need help finding a mortgage lender, give Austin real estate agent Talia Traub a call at (512) 914-2573.