US mortgage applications dip slightly though rates fall: MBA

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Applications for U.S. home loans dipped slightly in the latest week, as a drop in demand for purchase loans outweighed an increase in refinancing demand, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, fell 0.4 percent in the week ended Sept. 27.

That follows a gain of 5.5 percent in the week ended Sept. 20.

(Read more: For housing, shutdown is 'freeze of the pipeline')

The figures come in the first full week of data after the Federal Reserve decided not to slow its bond-buying program. The Fed's decision to keep buying $85 billion per month in Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities helped take yields on Treasuries, which are used as a benchmark in the mortgage market, to multi-month lows.

Wealthy cashing in on mortgages

MBA data showed 30-year mortgage rates dropped 13 basis points to 4.49 percent, after earlier in September matching the 4.8 percent high for 2013. The figure for the latest week was the lowest since June.

The refinancing index gained 3.1 percent after recently hitting the lowest level since June 2009.

(Read more: Government shutdown to halt mortgage approvals)

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

By Reuters