U.S. mortgage applications dip in latest week -MBA

Reuters

NEW YORK, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Applications for U.S. homeloans slipped in the latest week, although a drop in theprevious week was revised to a smaller fall than previouslyreported, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonallyadjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includesboth refinancing and home purchase demand, fell 1.8 percent inthe week ended Nov. 8.

The index fell a revised 2.8 percent in the previous week.That drop had previously been reported at 7 percent.

The figures came against continued uncertainty over when theU.S. Federal Reserve will begin to slow its stimulus program.

The Fed is currently buying $85 billion per month inTreasuries and mortgage-backed securities, and recent commentsfrom the central bank raised concerns that policymakers couldtaper those purchases this year. Surprisingly strong nonfarmpayrolls data on Friday reinforced those concerns.

Previously, it was expected that those accommodativemonetary policies would last into 2014.

MBA data showed 30-year mortgage rates edged up 12 basispoints to 4.44 percent.

The refinancing index fell 2.3 percent in the latest week,and was revised to a decline of 3.9 percent in the Nov. 1 weekfrom a previously reported fall of 7.9 percent.

The purchase index, a leading indicator of home sales,dipped 0.5 percent. That was revised to a drop of 0.7 percent inthe Nov. 1 week from a previously reported fall of 5.2 percent.

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

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