Applications for U.S. home loans dropped for a third straight week on the heels of higher interest rates, which also curbed refinancing activity, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
The MBA said Wednesday that its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity decreased 2.5 percent for the week ending Aug. 23.
After jumping 12 basis points to 4.68 percent a week earlier, the industry group said the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.8 percent this past week, the highest rate since April 2011. The average for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.84 percent, also the highest since April 2011.
The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 60 percent of total applications from 61 percent the previous week. That, too, was the lowest since April 2011, according to the MBA.
Meanwhile, the adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to 7 percent of total applications.
The MBA survey covers more than 75 percent of U.S. retail residential mortgage applications.