Applications for U.S. home mortgages fell for a second week and hit a 13-year low as mortgage rates rose due to a bond market sell-off following the Federal Reserve's decision to pare its bond purchase stimulus in January, an industry group said on Tuesday.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, fell 6.3 percent to the lowest level since December 2000.
Mortgage applications have fallen sharply since this summer on a jump in home finance costs as benchmark Treasuries yields eventually rose to a two-year high.
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Last Wednesday, Fed policy-makers opted to make their tapering move, which will begin in January with a $10 billion monthly reduction evenly split between Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities to $75 billion.