April 5, 2007
Mortgage-loan-application volume fell last week, and mortgage rates edged higher, an industry group said Wednesday.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its weekly mortgage index, which measures the volume of applications for loans to buy or refinance homes, fell by a seasonally adjusted 3.2 percent in the week ended March 30. The index that measures applications to borrow to buy a home fell 2 percent, while the index of refinancing applications was off 4.5 percent.
A persistent decline in housing prices has made it more difficult for homeowners to refinance their mortgages in recent months. That type of borrowing and subsequent consumer spending is widely credited with fueling economic growth in past quarters.
The association said the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage edged up to 6.13 percent from 6.04 percent the previous week, leading a rise in all types of borrowing, including adjustable-rate loans.