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Mortgage applications fall for third straight week: MBA

A "for sale" sign is seen outside a home in New York June 19, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
A "for sale" sign is seen outside a home in New York June 19, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) - Applications for home mortgages fell last week for the third consecutive week as refinancings fell to the lowest level since last April, an industry group said on Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, fell 10.4 percent in the week ended December 28.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications also fell 10.4 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, fell 10.5 percent. Both indexes dipped for a third straight week.

The refinance share of total mortgage activity stayed at 82 percent of applications.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 3.52 percent in the week, up 1 basis point from 3.51 percent the week before.

The survey covers over 75 percent of U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, according to MBA.

The release covered two weeks of data because of the holidays.

(Reporting by Gabriel Debenedetti; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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