Mortgage activity slows with rates creeping higher

June 5, 2013 at 11:24 AM

WASHINGTON, June 5 (UPI) -- U.S. mortgage activity fell for the third consecutive week, as interest rates continued to climb, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.

The association said mortgage activity fell 11.5 percent in the week while refinancing activity dropped 15 percent in the week ending Friday.

Refinancing declined as a share of mortgage activity, as well, dropping to 68 percent from 71 percent in the previous week. It was the fourth consecutive week that refinancing dropped as a share of long-term lending.

Interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rate conforming mortgages increased from 3.9 percent to 4.07 percent during the week, the highest rate since April 2012.

Points for 30-year conforming loans fell from 0.39 to 0.35.

The average interest rate for 30-year contracts on jumbo loans -- larger than $417,500 -- rose from 4.07 percent to 4.2 percent, the highest level since May 2012, with points climbing marginally from 0.27 to 0.28.

Interest rates for 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose from 3.1 percent to 3.23 percent, the highest level since June 2012. Points for 15-year, fixed-rate contracts rose from 0.3 to 0.38.

The average rate for 30-year loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration rose from 3.62 percent to 3.76 percent, a 12-month high, with points rising from 0.27 to 0.32.

The average rate for short-term, adjustable-rate mortgages rose from 2.6 percent to 2.76. Points for short-term adjustable-rate loans rose from 0.24 to 0.41, the MBA said.

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