February 25, 2015 / 12:06 PM / 5 years ago

U.S. mortgage applications fall in latest week: MBA

Homes are seen for sale in the northwest area of Portland, Oregon March 20, 2014. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Applications for U.S. home mortgages fell for a third straight week last week as interest rates edged higher, 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, fell 3.5 percent in the week ended Feb. 20. The index stood at its lowest level since the week ended Jan. 2.

The MBA’s seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications fell 7.5 percent to a seven-week low, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, increased 4.6 percent, rising for the first time in six weeks.

The refinance share of total mortgage activity fell to 62 percent of applications from 66 percent the week before.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 3.99 percent in the week, up 6 basis points from 3.93 percent the previous week.

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

Reporting by Dan Burns; Editing by Diane Craft

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