Mortgage applications down again MBA reports drop for fourth straight week; volume lowest since May '02 despite jump in refinancing. January 4, 2006: 7:28 AM EST
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. mortgage applications fell for a fourth straight week as a robust rebound in loan refinancing failed to lift activity from more than a 42-month low, an industry trade group said Wednesday.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity for the week ended Dec. 30 decreased 1.5 percent to 545.9 from the previous week's 554.1. Volume was at its lowest level since the week ended May 24, 2002, when the index reached 516.9.
The group's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications increased 8.3 percent to 1,363.2 compared with 1,259.1 the previous week. The refinancing index rose for the first time in four weeks.
Volume, however, was at its lowest level since the week ended June 4, 2004, when the index reached the same point.
Borrowing costs on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, excluding fees, averaged 6.15 percent, down 0.06 of a percentage point from the previous week's 6.21 percent.
The MBA's seasonally adjusted purchase mortgage index fell 3.4 percent to 418.3 from the previous week's 432.9, its lowest level of activity since February. The index is considered a timely gauge on U.S. home sales.