Fewer Americans Apply for Mortgages, Despite Lower Rates

Mortgage Applications
Al Behrman/AP

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK -- Applications for U.S. home mortgages fell last week as both purchase and refinancing applications declined, an industry group said Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, fell 1.2 percent in the week ended May 23.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications fell 1.4 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, slipped 1.1 percent.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 4.31 percent in the week, the lowest level since June 2013. It was down 2 basis points from 4.33 percent the week before.

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

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