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US home mortgage applications at highest since June
[NEW YORK] US loan application activity for home purchases rose last week to its highest since early June even as borrowing costs increased for the first time in four weeks, according to Mortgage Bankers Association data released on Wednesday.
The Washington-based industry group said its seasonally adjusted measure of home mortgage applications rose to 243.2 in the week ended on Jan 20, up 6.0 per cent from the previous week.
Interest rates on 30-year, fixed-rate conforming mortgages, the most widely held type of US home loan, averaged 4.35 per cent, up from 4.27 per cent in the prior week.
Conforming loans are those with balances of US$424,000 or less and qualify for guarantees from federal mortgage agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Four weeks ago, 30-year conforming mortgage rates averaged 4.45 per cent, their highest since April 2014.
US home borrowing costs rose in step with bond yields in a renewed selloff in the US Treasuries market as investors assessed whether early actions from US President Donald Trump would push up domestic growth and inflation.
The MBA's seasonally adjusted index on application activity to refinance an existing mortgage edged up 0.2 per cent to 1,265.6.
The refinance share of overall mortgage application activity fell to 50.0 per cent, its smallest since July 2015, from 53.0 per cent in the prior week, the MBA said.
The group's seasonally adjusted of total mortgage applications increased 4 per cent to 397.4, its highest in five weeks.
The latest week's data factored in an adjustment for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Jan 16.