U.S. Mortgage Applications Declined Last Week

Features Reuters

Applications for U.S. home mortgages fell last week due to a drop in refinancing activity even as interest rates hit record lows, an industry group said on Wednesday.

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The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, fell 2.1 percent in the week ended July 6. The results were adjusted to account for the July 4 holiday.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications fell 3.4 percent, but the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, rose 3.3 percent.

The refinance share of total mortgage activity fell to 77 percent of applications from 78 percent the week before.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 3.79 percent in the week, down 7 basis points from 3.86 percent the week before and the lowest in the history of the survey. Fixed 30-year mortgage rates for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration were also at record lows of 3.63 percent, down 6 basis points from the previous week.

The survey covers over 75 percent of U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, according to MBA.