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Mortgage apps decline

WASHINGTON -- Mortgage applications in the United States fell for the fourth time in the past five weeks, as the number of people seeking to buy a home slumped.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) index dropped 3.6 percent in the period ended July 11 after rising 1.9 percent the prior week, the Washington-based trade group reported Wednesday.

The purchase applications gauge declined 7.6 percent, the most since February 2013, after gaining 3.7 percent the week before.

The measure has increased just three times since mid-April.

The group’s refinancing index eased 0.1 percent. The share of applicants seeking to refinance rose to 53.6 percent from 51.6 percent the prior week.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan was little changed at 4.33 percent compared with 4.32 percent, while the average 15-year mortgage rate was 3.41 percent compared with 3.4 percent.

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