July 31, 2019 / 2:52 PM / 19 days ago

U.S. mortgage applications drop in latest week: MBA

FILE PHOTO: A home for sale is seen in the Penn Estates development where most of the homeowners are underwater on their mortgages in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S., June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. mortgage applications declined last week as potential home buyers scaled back on demand for home loans due to tight housing supply, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday.     

The Washington-based group’s seasonally adjusted index on loan requests, both to buy a home and refinance one, fell 1.4% to 484.0 from 490.8 in the week ended July 26.

“While purchase activity was still up 6 percent from a year ago, the index has now decreased for three straight weeks and reached its lowest point since March,” Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said in a statement.

The group’s barometer on loan applications for home purchases, which is seen as a proxy on future housing activity, fell 3.0% to 253.0.

Most fixed-mortgage MBA tracks were mixed from the week before.

For example, interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate “conforming” mortgages, or loans whose balances are $484,350 or less, remained unchanged at 4.08%.

MBA’s seasonally adjusted gauge on refinancing, increased 0.1% to 1,7971.2 from prior week’s 1,789.8.

Reporting by Evan Sully; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Tom Brown

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