March 21, 2018 / 3:25 PM / a year ago

U.S. purchase mortgage applications hit six-week high: MBA

FILE PHOTO - A general view of new houses which are construction and for sale in San Marcos, California October 25, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A gauge of U.S. mortgage applications to buy a home climbed to a six-week high as 30-year home borrowing costs lingered at four-year peaks, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday.

The Washington-based industry group said its seasonally adjusted index on loan requests for home purchase increased to 249.9 in the week ended March 16, which was up 1.4 percent from the prior week. The index, which is seen as proxy for future home sales, was at the highest since 255.4 in the week of Feb. 2.

The interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate conforming mortgages, or loans with balances of $453,100 or less, averaged 4.68 percent last week. This was a tad lower than the previous week’s 4.69 percent which was the highest since January 2014, MBA said.

Reporting by Richard Leong; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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