September 14, 2005

Mortgage applications fall last week: MBA

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Applications for U.S. residential
mortgages fell last week as higher interest rates deterred
borrowers from refinancing their existing home loans, an
industry trade group's figures showed on Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its index of total
mortgage applications for home purchase and refinancing loans
fell 1.4 percent to 760.6 in the week ended September 9. The
index rose 6.8 percent in the previous week.

The MBA's purchase index rose 2.9 percent to 513.4, adding
to the previous week's 6.1 percent gain.

The refinancing index fell 6.7 percent to 2,198.7, nearly
erasing the previous week's 7.7 percent gain.

The indexes were all seasonally adjusted, the MBA said.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates rose 8 basis points, or 0.08
of a percentage point, to an average of 5.72 percent, excluding
fees, compared with 5.64 percent in the previous week.

While the fixed 30-year mortgage rate is below its 2005
high of 6.08 percent reached in late March, it is above the
2005 low of 5.47 percent of late June. It is also higher than
where it stood a year ago when the rate was 5.68 percent.