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Mortgage applications resume decline

Mortgage applications fell last week for the sixth time in seven weeks despite lower rates, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported.

For the week ending Aug. 24, MBA’s adjusted composite index declined by 1.7 percent from the prior week. Refinance activity fell 3 percent, while the adjusted purchase index declined by 1 percent. The refinance share of mortgage activity was unchanged at 38.7 percent.

"Applications resumed their downward motion last week, even as mortgage rates decreased to their lowest levels in a month," said Joel Kan, MBA associate vice president of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Treasury yields were lower over the week as well, primarily driven by a release of FOMC [Federal Open Market Committee] minutes showing that Fed officials may be taking a more cautious approach to the final two expected rate hikes of 2018."

Kan said government purchase loan activity jumped by almost 1 percent last week, compared to a 1.4 percent decrease in conventional purchase applications.

"This helped to push the average loan size for purchase applications down to its lowest level since January," Kan said. "Government purchase applications typically have a lower average size than conventional."


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