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U.S. weekly mortgage applications decrease 2.2 percent

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported on Wednesday the mortgage application volume in the U.S. dropped 2.2 percent in the week ended March 26, following a 2.5 percent decline in the previous week.

According to the report, refinance applications fell 2.5 percent, while applications to purchase a home declined 1.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the average fixed 30-year mortgage rate edged down from 3.36 percent to 3.33 percent, breaking a seven-week rising streak.

“Higher mortgage rates continue to shut down refinance activity, as the pool of borrowers who can benefit from a refinance further shrinks,” noted Joel Kan, an MBA economist.

“Many prospective homebuyers this spring are feeling the effects of higher rates and rapidly accelerating home prices,” Kan added. “Record-low inventory is pushing home-price growth at double the rate from a year ago, and even above the 10% growth rates seen in 2005. The housing market is in desperate need of more inventory to cool price growth and preserve affordability.”

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