October 17, 2012 / 11:28 AM / 7 years ago

U.S. mortgage applications fall 4.2 percent; purchase demand up: MBA

Homes along Clearview Drive that are priced between $594,000 and $899,000, according to real estate database Zillow, are seen in Los Gatos, California September 6, 2012. REUTERS/Norbert von der Groeben

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Applications for U.S. home mortgages fell last week, but demand for purchase loans, a leading indicator of home sales, reached the highest level since June, 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 4.2 percent in the week ended October 12.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index, which measures loan requests for home purchases, increased by 1 percent over the previous week, putting the index at its highest level since June.

The data was adjusted to account for the Columbus Day holiday.

The MBA’s seasonally adjusted refinance index fell 5.3 percent from the previous week. The refinance share of total mortgage activity decreased to 82 percent of total applications from 83 percent the prior week.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates rose 1 basis point to average 3.57 percent. Still, they remain near all-time lows following the Federal Reserve’s latest economic stimulus program.

The survey covers over 75 percent of U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, according to MBA. (Reporting by Atossa Abrahamian; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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