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Mortgage apps decline

McLEAN, Va. -- Mortgage applications in the United States fell for the fourth time in five weeks, as fewer Americans made home purchases or refinanced their properties as borrowing costs rose.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) index decreased 3.3 percent in the period ended April 18 from the prior week, the Washington-based trade group reported Wednesday.

The 2.6 percent decline in purchases marked the measure’s first drop in six weeks and ended the longest string of gains since November 2012.

The refinance gauge fell 3.7 percent. The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan rose to 4.49 percent from 4.47 percent the prior week. The average rate on a 15-year mortgage rose to 3.55 percent from 3.54 percent.

The share of applicants seeking to refinance declined to 51.3 percent from 51.8 percent the prior week, Wednesday’s report showed.

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