Mortgage lending fell to its lowest level in five years in the fourth quarter of 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a report released by Inside Mortgage Finance.

The steep drop mostly reflects the end of a refinancing boom that reigned when interest rates hovered around record lows, but has come to a close in the wake of a sharp increase in mortgage rates last year.

At the same time, numbers released by the Mortgage Bankers Association suggest that the jump in rates may also have chipped away at purchase loan volume.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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