Applications for U.S. home mortgages fell last week as higher insurance premiums for government-insured loans sapped demand, an industry group said Wednesday.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, fell 5.6 percent in the week ended April 22.
"Purchase applications fell last week, driven primarily by a sharp decrease in government purchase applications as new, higher Federal Housing Administration premiums went into effect," Michael Fratantoni, MBA's vice president of research and economics, said in a statement.
The decline reverses a recent increase in government purchase applications, which was likely due to borrowers trying to beat the deadline, Fratantoni said.
The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of loan requests for home purchases tumbled 13.6 percent, while the gauge of refinancing applications slipped 0.6 percent.
Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 4.80 percent in the week, easing from 4.83 percent the week before.
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