October 31, 2018 / 12:42 PM / 13 days ago

U.S. mortgage applications slip, rates mixed: MBA

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. consumers filed fewer loan applications to buy and refinance homes, while home borrowing costs were mixed with 30-year mortgage rates unchanged on the week, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday.

A home for sale is seen in Santa Monica, California, U.S., March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

The Washington-based industry group said its seasonally adjusted index on mortgage requests fell 2.5 percent to 329.5 in the week ended Oct. 26. It hit 322.1 two weeks earlier, which was the weakest reading since Dec. 26, 2014.

Interest rates on 30-year conforming mortgages, whose balances are $453,100 or less, on average were unchanged at 5.11 percent, the highest since February 2011.

Other borrowing costs that MBA tracks were both higher and lower from the previous week.

Graphic: U.S. Mortgages interactive - tmsnrt.rs/1SQgDJa

MBA’s seasonally adjusted measure on loan applications for home purchases, a proxy on future home sales, fell 1.5 percent to 224.9 last week. It was close to 224.0, which was the lowest since February 2017, set two weeks earlier.

The purchase application index was lower year-over-year, according to Joel Kan, MBA’s assistant vice president of economic and industry forecasts.

“Purchase applications may have been adversely impacted by the recent uptick in rates and the significant stock market volatility we have seen the past couple of weeks,” Kan said in a statement.

Mortgage rates jumped this month in step with U.S. bond yields US10YT=RR on worries about rising inflation and growing federal borrowing to finance a widening budget deficit.

Rising borrowing costs, disappointing company results and trade tensions between China and the United States stoked a stock market rout as the S&P 500 .SPX fell last Friday to its lowest since early May.

Wall Street share prices have recovered some of last week’s losses.

The group’s seasonally adjusted gauge on refinancing applications decreased 3.8 percent to 884.2 last week, holding above 838.1 two weeks ago, which was the lowest reading since December 2000.

Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Steve Orlofsky

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