Mortgage applications fall

Application activity declines as borrowing costs rise, Mortgage Bankers Association reports.

NEW YORK ( -- Mortgage applications declined last week as interest rates hit seven-month highs, according to the latest report by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The industry group's seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications fell 7.3 percent to 636.4 in the week ended May 25, from 686.2 one week earlier.

The four-week moving average, which smoothes out volatility in the weekly figures, fell by 0.8 percent.

The MBA's refinancing applications index declined 13 percent to 1874.6 from 2154.7 the previous week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index, viewed as a key measurement of U.S. home sales, eased 2.5 percent to 427 from 438.1 one week earlier.

Borrowing costs on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, excluding fees, averaged 6.32 percent, up from 6.23 the previous week. The rate was at its highest since the week ended Oct. 20.

Fixed 15-year mortgage rates rose to 6.05 percent from 5.96 percent in the previous week. Rates on one-year adjustable-rate mortgage ARMs climbed to 5.74 percent from 5.72 percent.

The ARM share of activity fell to 17.7 percent of total applications from 18.1 percent the week before.

The MBA's survey covers about 50 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage loans. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. Top of page