Mortgage Applications Gain as Rates Slip

Home Buyers Ahead of MBA Mortgage Applications Figures
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Applications for U.S. home loans rose in the most recent week as interest rates fell for a second straight week, data from an industry group showed Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, rose 5.5 percent in the week ended Sept. 20.

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

The current week includes the Federal Reserve's decision last Wednesday not to slow its quantitative easing bond-buying program. The Fed's decision to keep buying $85 billion a month in Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities helped take yields to multimonth lows.

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

The refinancing index gained 4.9 percent to 1,889.2 after a drop two weeks ago brought the index to its lowest since June 2009.

The mortgage survey covers more than 75 percent of U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, according to MBA.