U.S. mortgage application activity falls to five-month low

November 2, 2016 8:48 AM EDT

For Sale signs stand in front of houses in a neighborhood where many British people have purchased homes in Davenport, Florida, U.S., June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Phelan Ebenhack


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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A measure of U.S. mortgage application activity decreased for a second week to a five-month low as 30-year mortgage rates rose to their highest since June, data from the Mortgage Bankers Association released on Wednesday showed.

The Washington-based industry group's mortgage market index fell 1.2 percent to 486.2 in the week ended Oct. 28, which was the lowest level since the week of May 27.

Interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, which are the most widely held type of U.S. home loans, averaged 3.75 percent in the latest week, matching the level last seen in June, MBA said.

Mortgage rates increased with higher U.S. Treasury yields with 10-year yields hitting their highest levels in about five month last week.

U.S. bond yields climbed on speculation about whether overseas central banks may refrain from injecting more monetary stimulus to help their economies.

The group's seasonally adjusted index on weekly applications to buy a home edged down 0.4 percent to 207.0 last week, which was the lowest since January.

The purchase activity gauge is seen as a proxy on home sales.

MBA's weekly barometer on refinancing requests declined by 1.6 percent to 2,088.0, which was the weakest since June.

The share of refinancing activity rose to 62.7 percent of total applications, unchanged from the previous week.

(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)



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