U.S. mortgage applications fall in latest week: MBA

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Applications for U.S. home mortgages fell last week as interest rates rose to the highest level since March, an industry group said on Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, fell 3.5 percent in the week ended May 8.

The MBA’s seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications fell 5.9 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, dipped 0.2 percent.

The refinance share of total mortgage activity fell to 51 percent of applications, its lowest level since May 2014, from 52 percent the week before.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 4.00 percent in the week, the highest level since March. They were up 7 basis points from 3.93 percent the previous week.

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

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Diane Craft)

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