June 27, 2018 / 1:18 PM / in 9 months

U.S. mortgage applications post biggest drop in four months: MBA

FILE PHOTO: A "For Sale" sign is seen outside a home in Cardiff, California, U.S. on February 22, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. mortgage applications recorded their steepest weekly fall in over four months even as most home borrowing costs fell in step with lower bond yields, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday.

The Washington-based industry group’s seasonally adjusted index on loan requests to buy a home or to refinance an existing one fell 4.9 percent to 365.3 in the week ended June 22.

This marked the index’s biggest fall since the 6.6 percent drop in the week of Feb. 16.

Interest rates on most mortgages fell from the prior week, although the average rate on 30-year conforming loans or those with loan balances of $453,100 or less, edged up 1 basis point to 4.84 percent.

Last week, home borrowing costs generally declined with Treasury yields as investors preferred U.S. government bonds and other less risky investments because of worries about the escalating trade conflict between China and the United States, the world’s two biggest economies.

(GRAPHIC: U.S. weekly mortgage rates and application activity - tmsnrt.rs/1SQgDJa)

Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Susan Thomas

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