Applications for home-purchase loans dropped significantly last week as long-term interest rates climbed higher, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today. The market composite index, a measure of total mortgage application volume, was down 2.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from mid-month, according to MBA. Leading the decline was a 7.3 percent drop in the index that tracks purchase loans, despite a 3.3 percent increase in the refinance index. Interest rates on long-term loans increased for the second straight week, MBA reported, with the average contract interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages last week rising to 6.38 percent from 6.29 percent the week before and the 15-year fixed rate jumping to 6.06 percent from 5.99 percent. The rate on one-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), however, tumbled to 6.09 percent from 6.39 percent during the period. Points, which are loan-processing fees expressed as a percent of the total loan amount, averaged 1.15 on the 30-yea...
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