U.S. loan applications to refinance existing homes fell to their lowest in over 17-1/2 years even as most 30-year home borrowing costs fell last week, data from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed on Wednesday.
The Washington-based industry group said its seasonally adjusted index on homeowners’ requests for refinancing fell 3.8 percent to 958.5 in the week ended July 6. This was the lowest weekly reading since December 2000.
Refinancing’s share of weekly mortgage activity fell to its lowest since August 2008 at 34.8 percent of total applications. This compared with 37.2 percent the previous week, MBA said.
Interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate “conforming” home loans, whose balances are $453,100 or less, averaged 4.76 percent from 4.79 percent the week before, it said.
However, the average rate on 30-year loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, which are often used by first-time home buyers or borrowers with patchy credit, rose to 4.80 percent from 4.78 percent the prior week.