U.S. mortgage applications gain as rates slip - MBA

Reuters

Sept 25 (Reuters) - Applications for U.S. home loans rose inthe most recent week as interest rates fell for a secondstraight week, 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, rose 5.5 percent inthe week ended Sept. 20.

That follows a gain of 11.2 percent in the week ended Sept.13.

The current week includes the Fed's decision last Wednesdaynot to slow its quantitative easing bond-buying program. TheU.S. Federal Reserve's decision to keep buying $85 billion permonth in Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities helped takeyields to multimonth lows.

MBA data showed 30-year mortgage rates eased 13 basis pointsto 4.62 percent, after earlier this month matching the 4.8percent high for 2013.

The refinancing index gained 4.9 percent to 1,889.2 after adrop two weeks ago brought the index to its lowest since June2009.

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

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