Applications for U.S. home mortgage purchases rose last week, though demand for refinancings dropped for a sixth week in a row as interest rates climbed, an industry group said.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of overall mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, fell 2.7 percent in the week ended March 23.
The MBA's gauge of loan requests for home purchases rose 3.3 percent, though the measure of refinancing applications dropped 4.6 percent.
The decline in refinancing was driven by a 12.0 percent drop in government refinance activity, while conventional applications fell just 3.4 percent, the report said.
The refinance share of total mortgage activity slipped to its lowest level since July of last year at 71.9 percent of applications from 73.4 percent.
Fixed 30-year mortgage rates jumped to their highest level since November to average 4.23 percent, up 4 basis points from 4.19 percent.
The survey covers over 75 percent of U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, according to MBA.
© 2015 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.