NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. mortgage applications were little changed last week even as longer-term home borrowing costs hovered or increased to their highest levels in over seven years, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday.
The Washington-based group’s seasonally adjusted index on requests for a loan to buy a home and to refinance an existing home was flat at 352.6 in the week ended Sept. 28.
Rising mortgage rates may be another headwind for the housing market which is already struggling with tight inventory and rising building costs, analysts said.
Interest rates on 30-year conforming mortgages, whose balances are $453,100 or less, on average dipped to 4.96 percent from last week’s 4.97 percent, which was the highest since April 2011.
Average borrowing costs on 30-year jumbo loans, whose balances are greater than $453,100, were 4.93 percent, which was the highest since July 2011. Last week, they were 4.92 percent.
Interest rates on 30-year mortgages guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, which are typically used by first-time home buyers or consumers with patch credits, averaged 4.95 percent, which was the highest since May 2011. Last week, they averaged 4.94 percent, MBA said.
Average 15-year mortgage rates edged up to 4.39 percent, which was the highest since April 2010, from 4.38 percent the prior week.
The slim pickup in borrowing costs did not have much impact on mortgage application activity.
MBA’s seasonally-adjusted gauge on home purchase requests rose 0.1 percent 240.7 last week, the highest level in over three months.
The group’s seasonally-adjusted measure on refinancing applications dipped 0.1 percent to 945.9, which was not far above the lowest level since Dec. 2000 set three weeks earlier.
Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama