Applications for U.S. home mortgages dropped last week as high interest rates continued to dampen demand and loan refinancing tumbled, an industry group said on Wednesday.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, dropped 9.5 percent in the week ended Feb.11.
The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications fell 11.4 percent last week to its lowest level since the week ended July 3, 2009.
The gauge of loan requests for home purchases was down 5.9 percent.
Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 5.12 percent in the week, inching down from 5.13 percent the week before, but still high enough to keep buyers out of the market.
"Mortgage rates remained above 5 percent last week, up almost a full percentage point from their October lows, and refinance volume continued to drop," Michael Fratantoni, MBA's vice president of research and economics, said in a statement.
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