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Mortgage applications fell last week: MBA

Construction equipment sits next to signs advertising new condominium homes for sale in South San Francisco, California, December 22, 2009.
Construction equipment sits next to signs advertising new condominium homes for sale in South San Francisco, California, December 22, 2009.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Applications for home mortgages fell last week, as a decline in refinancing activity offset higher demand for purchase loans, 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, fell 4 percent in the week ended Mach 29. It was the lowest level since March 15.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications fell 5.6 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, rose 1.4 percent.

The refinance share of total mortgage activity fell to 74 percent of applications from 75 percent the week before.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 3.76 percent in the week, down 3 basis points from 3.79 percent the week before.

The survey covers over 75 percent of retail residential mortgage applications, according to MBA.

(Reporting By Edward Krudy; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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