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Mortgage apps decline

WASHINGTON -- Mortgage applications in the United States dropped for the first time in four weeks, as fewer Americans refinanced their homes.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index fell 0.2 percent in the period ended Jan. 24, the Washington-based trade group reported Wednesday.

The refinance measure decreased 2.2 percent, while the purchase gauge climbed 1.5 percent.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan declined to a two-month low of 4.52 percent from 4.57 percent a week before.

The average rate on a 15-year mortgage fell to 3.59 percent, also the lowest in eight weeks, from 3.68 percent.

The share of applicants seeking to refinance dropped to 61.7 percent, the lowest since September, from 64.1 percent in the previous week, according to the report.

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