August 10, 2005

U.S. mortgage applications fall last week – MBA

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Applications for U.S. home mortgages
fell last week, its third consecutive drop as refinancing
activity waned and interest rates reached four-month highs,
industry group figures showed on Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally
adjusted index of mortgage application activity fell 0.9
percent to 745.0 in the week ending Aug. 5, adding to the
previous week's 0.3 percent loss.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing
applications also fell for a third consecutive week, dropping
3.3 percent to 2176.5 after falling 3.0 percent the prior week.

Purchasing activity, however, rose for a second consecutive

The MBA's purchase index, a gauge of loan requests for home
purchases, increased 0.9 percent to 498.8, adding to the
previous week's 1.9 percent gain.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 5.91 percent last
week, excluding fees, up 8 basis points, or 0.08 of a
percentage point, from 5.83 percent the previous week. It was
also the highest rate since the week ended April 8 when 30-year
mortgages hit 5.95 percent.