Mortgage applications down as purchase demand falls

NEW YORK Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:11am EST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Applications for home mortgages slipped last week, pulled lower by a steep drop in demand for home purchases, an industry group said on Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, dipped 1.0 percent in the week ended Feb 10.

The gauge of loan requests for home purchases tumbled 8.4 percent, though the index refinancing applications edged up 0.8 percent.

The refinance share of total mortgage activity also rose to 81.1 percent of applications from 80.5 percent the week before.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 4.08 percent, up 3 basis points from 4.05 percent.

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

(Reporting By Leah Schnurr; Editing by Diane Craft)

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