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Mortgage apps drop

WASHINGTON -- Mortgage applications in the U.S. fell for the first time in four weeks as home purchases and refinancing declined.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) index dropped 1.2 percent in the period ended May 23 after climbing 0.9 percent the prior period, the Washington-based trade group reported Wednesday.

The refinancing measure decreased 1.4 percent last week, while the purchase gauge dropped 1.1 percent even as borrowing costs fell.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan eased to 4.31 percent, the lowest since June 2013, from 4.33 percent.

The average rate on a 15-year mortgage was 3.42 percent after 3.43 percent the previous week.

The share of applicants seeking to refinance was little changed at 52.2 percent after 52 percent the previous week, the MBA’s report showed.

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