Overall mortgage applications fell 6.7 percent last week on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week before, as sharp gains in interest rates dissuaded borrowers, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today.

The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased by 6.2 percent to 389 from 414.8 the previous week, and the refinance index decreased by 7.5 percent to 1,356 from 1,466.1 one week earlier.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 35.3 percent of total applications from 35.5 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity decreased to 29.1 percent of total applications from 29.6 percent the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 6.86 percent from 6.73 percent, and is now at the highest level since April 2002, according to MBA. Points including the origination fee decreased to 1.1 from 1.14 for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans. 

Points, which are fees charged by lenders for loan processing, are expressed as a percent of the total loan amount.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 6.49 percent from 6.37 percent, and is also at its highest point since April 2002. Points including the origination fee decreased to 1.04 from 1.10 for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans. 

The average contract interest rate for one-year adjustable-rate mortgages increased to 6.36 percent from 6.22 percent, and is at its highest since February 2001. Points including the origination fee increased to 0.87 from 0.86 for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans. 

Washington, D.C.-based Mortgage Bankers Association is a national association representing the real estate finance industry. The survey covers approximately 50 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage originations, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts.

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