NEW YORK Dec 4 Applications for U.S. home loans
tumbled in the latest week, led by a sharp slide in refinancing
applications, 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, sank 12.8 percent in
the week ended Nov. 29.
The week's results included an adjustment for the
Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, the group said.
The data marked the fifth straight weekly drop for the
index, taking it to its lowest level since early September.
The fall in mortgage applications comes as investors try to
gauge when the U.S. Federal Reserve might exit its bond-buying
The Fed has said it would begin to scale back its $85
billion per month in purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed
securities when policy makers are convinced of a steady,
But data on the world's biggest economy have been mixed,
leaving investors uncertain about the future path of U.S.
MBA data showed 30-year mortgage rates rose 3 basis points
in the latest week to 4.51 percent.
The refinancing index sank 17.5 percent while the purchase
index, a leading indicator of home sales, fell 4.1 percent.
The mortgage survey covers over 75 percent of U.S. retail
residential mortgage applications, according to MBA.
(Reporting by Luciana Lopez; Editing by Leslie Adler)