NEW YORK Interest rates for mortgages spiked last week, sapping demand for home loans on the heels of a sharp rebound in applications the previous week, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, fell 4.7 percent in the week ended March 8.
Applications had accelerated nearly 15 percent the week before after a string of declines.
The index of refinancing applications dropped 5.2 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, was down 2.5 percent.
Fixed 30-year mortgage rates jumped to their highest level in more than six months, rising 11 basis points to average 3.81 percent.
Data that showed stronger-than-expected job growth in February sent rates higher, Mike Fratantoni, MBA's vice president of research and economics, said in a statement.
The refinance share of total mortgage activity decreased to 76 percent of applications from 77 percent the week before. It was the lowest level since May 2012.
The survey covers over 75 percent of U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, according to MBA.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)