June 28, 2017 / 1:05 PM / a year ago

U.S. mortgage activity posts biggest weekly drop in six months: MBA

(Reuters) - U.S. mortgage applications recorded their steepest weekly decline in six months last week, even as most borrowing costs on home loans held steady, according to Mortgage Bankers Association data released on Wednesday.

The Washington-based group said its seasonally adjusted measure on loan requests for home purchases and refinancing fell to 417.4 in the week ended June 23, a drop of 6.2 percent from the previous week.

This was the biggest weekly fall for the index since a 12.1 percent decline in the week of Dec. 23, 2016.

Interest rates on conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages remained at their lowest since November for a third straight week at 4.13 percent.

Conforming loans are those with balances of $424,100 or less that qualify for guarantees from federal mortgage agencies Fannie Mae (FNMA.PK) and Freddie Mac (FMCC.PK).

Average rates on other types of mortgages that MBA tracks were mixed from the previous week.

MBA’s seasonally adjusted gauge of applications for home purchases, a proxy for future home sales, decreased to 241.7 last week, marking a 4.1 percent fall, its biggest since the Feb. 10 week.

The group’s seasonally adjusted barometer of refinancing applications declined to 1,396.2, down 8.6 percent, the steepest since a 23.2 percent drop six months ago.

Reporting by Richard Leong in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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