Mortgage Applications Fall 4.4% on Refinancing Decline

Mortgage loan applications fell 4.4% in the week ending July 23, dragged down by a decrease in the number of people looking to refinance their homes. Applications for refinancing loans fell to 5.9%, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in a statement. The proportion of mortgage loans intended for refinancing slipped to 78%, from 79.4% a week earlier.

The association's purchase index rose 2% on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.69% from 4.59%, which was the lowest since data started to be collected in 1990.

"The housing market is weak," Paul Anastos, president of Mortgage Master, a Walpole, Mass.-based lender, told Bloomberg News before the report. "There's good opportunity out there in the housing market, but because consumer confidence is fairly low, people aren't really shopping. They're worried about other things, like jobs."