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Mortgage apps plunged last week

WASHINGTON -- Mortgage applications in the United States dropped last week by the most in more than a year, as home purchasing and refinancing slumped.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) index declined 12.3 percent in the period ended Dec. 14 from the prior week, the biggest decrease since October 2011, the group said Wednesday.

The MBS’s refinancing gauge fell 13.8 percent, while its purchasing measure decreased 4.8 percent.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage rose to 3.5 percent from the 3.47 percent rate the prior week -- that was the lowest in records dating to 1990.

Borrowing costs on a 15-year fixed loan fell to a record-low 2.83 percent from 2.85 percent the prior week.

The share of applicants seeking to refinance a loan decreased to 83.1 percent from 84 percent the previous week.

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