NEW YORK Jan 8 Applications for U.S. home
mortgages edged higher in the latest week, rebounding from a
13-year low set at the end of last year, an industry group said
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally
adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes
both refinancing and home purchase demand, rose 2.6 percent to
345.1 in the week ended Jan. 3.
In the week ended Dec. 27, the index had slipped to 336.4,
according to the release, the lowest mark since December 2000.
The release covered two weeks of data because of the
holidays. Both weeks included holiday adjustments.
The U.S. Federal Reserve on Dec. 18 said it would start
pulling back on its $85 billion per month bond-buying program as
the economy grows strong enough to stand on its own.
That announcement, as well as months of speculation before
the Fed actually moved, helped drive yields on benchmark 10-year
U.S. Treasury notes about 125 basis points higher
That jump in rates on the 10-year note, which is used as a
standard in setting mortgage and other lending rates, has slowed
mortgage applications recently.
The rate on fixed 30-year mortgages averaged 4.72 percent
last week, the same as the prior week.
The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing
applications rose 4.6 percent. That index hit a five-year low in
the week ended Dec. 27, as well.
The gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading
indicator of home sales, dipped 0.5 percent.
The survey covers over 75 percent of U.S. retail residential
mortgage applications, according to MBA.
(Reporting by Luciana Lopez; Editing by Leslie Adler)