Mortgage Applications Down 5.6 Percent

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday that applications for U.S. home mortgages fell last week as an increase in insurance premiums for government-backed loans hurt demand.  The MBA’s seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes data for both purchase and refinance loan requests, fell 5.6 percent in the week ended April 22nd.

The report denotes the reversal of a recent trend, in which mortgage activity has increased for several straight weeks, a trend analysts say was likely driven by buyers trying to beat the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s raising of insurance premiums.

The agency’s seasonally adjusted index of purchase loan applications fell 13.6 percent, while its measure of refinance loan requests slipped 0.6 percent.  Interest rates dipped during the week, meanwhile, with the average rate for a 30 year, fixed-rate mortgage falling from 4.83 percent to 4.80 percent.

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