April 10, 2019 / 12:47 PM / 14 days ago

U.S. mortgage applications retreat from 2-1/2 year peak

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

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. mortgage applications fell from their highest level in 2-1/2 years as refinancing activity pulled back in step with an increase in home borrowing costs, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday.

The Washington-based group’s seasonally adjusted index on requests for loans to buy a home and refinance a mortgage declined by 5.6% TO 475.6 in the week ended April 5. The previous week’s reading was the strongest since the week of Oct. 14, 2016.

Interest rates on 30-year “conforming” mortgages, or home loans with balances of $484,350 or less, averaged 4.40%, up from the prior week’s 4.36% which was the lowest since the week of Jan. 19, 2018.

Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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