U.S. mortgage applications tumble last week - MBA
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. mortgage applications plunged to their lowest level in more than two years last week as rising mortgage rates dampened demand for loans to purchase homes and refinancing activity, a survey showed on Wednesday.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, tumbled 13.1% on a seasonally adjusted basis to 466.4 from the prior week. That was the lowest level since December 2019.
The refinance index dropped 15.6%, while the purchase index declined 10.1%. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 4.06%, up from 4.05% in the prior week, according to the MBA.
Mortgage rates have been rising, with the Federal Reserve poised to start raising interest rates in March to tame high inflation. Economists expect as many as seven rate hikes from the U.S. central bank this year.
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)