Mortgage Applications Fell Last Week as Rates Climbed

Mortgage applications fell for the fourth time in five weeks as fewer Americans made home purchases or refinanced their properties as borrowing costs rose.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's index decreased 3.3% in the period ended April 18 from the prior week, the Washington-based trade group reported today. The 2.6% decline in purchases marked the measure's first drop in six weeks and ended the longest string of gains since November 2012.

The refinance gauge fell 3.7%.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan rose to 4.49% from 4.47% the prior week. The average rate on a 15-year mortgage rose to 3.55% from 3.54%.

The share of applicants seeking to refinance declined to 51.3% from 51.8% the prior week, today’s report showed.

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