Mortgage Applications Fall to Lowest Level Since January

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Applications for U.S. home mortgages fell last week to their lowest level since January as interest rates pushed higher, an industry group said Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, fell 6.7 percent in the week ended April 8. It was the third week of declines in a row and applications were at their lowest level since the week of Jan. 21.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications slumped 7.7 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases dropped 4.7 percent.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 4.98 percent in the week, up from 4.93 percent the week before. (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Diane Craft)