U.S. Mortgage Applications Dip Slightly As Refinancing Slows

U.S. mortgage applications declined last week as refinancing dipped while purchase activity barely budged, an industry group said Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications dipped 0.2% to 671.0 in the week ended March 23.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted purchase index climbed 0.1% to 411.1. Its refinancing applications index slipped 0.5% to 2,197.7.

All three measures were higher in terms of a four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility. The market index was up 1.7% to 676.3, the purchase index rose 0.6% to 410.3 and the refinancing index gained 2.9% to 2,238.2, according to the MBA.

Average 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, excluding fees, dropped 0.02 percentage points from the prior week to 6.04%, well below the 6.35% registered in the same week a year earlier.