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Mortgage applications decline as refinancing slumps

Mortgage applications in the United States fell last week as refinancing slumped to the weakest level in more than five years. Purchases also declined.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index decreased 5.9 percent in the period ended April 25 from the prior week, the Washington-based trade group reported Wednesday. The refinance gauge fell 6.9 percent to reach the lowest point since November 2008. The purchase index dropped 4.4 percent.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan held at 4.49 percent. The average rate on a 15-year mortgage fell to 3.53 percent from 3.55 percent.

The share of applicants seeking to refinance declined to 50.4 percent, the lowest since July 2009, from 51.3 percent the prior week, Wednesday’s report showed.

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