Mortgage application hit four week skid; suffer as rates rise

A man looks at dryers and washing machines at RC Willey appliance store in Orem, Utah.
George Frey | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Applications for U.S. home loans dipped in the latest week, dropping for a fourth straight week, 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 0.3 percent in the week ended Nov. 22.

The index has fallen 7 percent over the past four weeks, dropping as investors have speculated on when the U.S. Federal Reserve might pull back on its bond-buying program.

The Fed has said it would begin to slow its policy of buying $85 billion per month in Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities when policymakers are convinced of a steady, self-sustaining recovery.

But data on the world's biggest economy have been mixed, leaving investors uncertain about the future path of U.S. monetary policy. MBA data showed 30-year mortgage rates edged up 2 basis points in the latest week to 4.48 percent.

The refinancing index rose 0.1 percent while the purchase index, a leading indicator of home sales, fell 0.2 percent.

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

--By Reuters