Applications for purchase loans climbed modestly last week, nearly reaching their year-ago level, as interest rates hit a four-month low, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported.

Applications for purchase loans increased a seasonally adjusted 2 percent for the week ending Oct. 25 compared to a week earlier and were down 0.1 percent on an annual basis, according to the latest Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications survey.

During the same period, refinance applications climbed 9 percent from a week earlier, the trade group reported.

The drop in mortgage applications came as the average rate for a 30-year-fixed rate mortgage with a balance of $417,000 or less dropped to 4.33 percent from 4.39 percent a week earlier.

That was the lowest rate recorded by the MBA sine June of this year.

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