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Mortgage applications edge down in U.S. housing market

Christian Fernsby |
Mortgage applications decreased as purchase activity weakened in the United States, according to a report from Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) on Wednesday.

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For the week ending July 26, the market composite index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, dropped 1.4 percent from a week earlier, said the report.

"Mortgage applications were lower last week, driven by a 3 percent decrease in purchase applications," said Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.

"While purchase activity is still up 6 percent from a year ago, the index has now decreased for three straight weeks and reached its lowest point since March," said Kan.

Besides, the refinance index, which measures the activity to replace higher rate mortgages with lower rate mortgages, inched up 0.1 percent from the previous week, according to MBA.

"Refinance applications were essentially flat, but the components told different stories. Conventional refinances were up 1.1 percent, but government refinances were down almost 3 percent," said Kan.

"Despite healthy demand, inadequate supply levels continue to hold back some would-be buyers," Kan added.

According to local media, the supply of homes for sale, which had been rising earlier this year, has now flattened. Supply has dropped on the lower end of the market, where demand is strongest. Even as affordability improves, thanks to lower interest rates, buyers are having trouble finding what the want.

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