Mortgage Applications Decrease as Refis and Purchases Fall

Mortgage applications fell to their lowest level since December 2000 as fewer borrowers purchased homes and even less refinanced their properties.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's applications survey for the week ending April 25 decreased 5.9% from a week earlier, the Washington-based trade group said.

The decrease was highlighted by the refinance index dropping 7% on a weekly basis despite the 30-year fixed rate remaining at 4.49%. Furthermore, the refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 50% of total applications. Last week, it was 51.3%.

"The refinance index dropped to its lowest level since 2008, continuing the declining trend that we have seen since May 2013," said Mike Fratantoni, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Meanwhile, the purchase index fell 4% week-over-week and is 21% lower than a year ago, MBA said.

The average interest rate for a 15-year mortgage decreased to 3.53% from 3.55% a week earlier.

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