* U.S. purchase mortgage activity gains 4% in latest week
* Share of refinance applications shrinks to lowest since November (Adds background, details on latest data)
NEW YORK, May 8 (Reuters) - U.S. mortgage applications rebounded from a six-week low, led by a pickup in loan requests for home purchases, as most home borrowing costs fell or held steady, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday.
The Washington-based group’s seasonally adjusted barometer on mortgage application activity increased 2.7% to 418.1 in week ended May 3 from the prior week’s 407.2, which was the lowest reading since March 15.
“We saw a good week for the spring homebuying season,” Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting said in a statement.
The group’s seasonally adjusted gauge on purchase mortgage applications rose 4.2% at 270.2 last week.
The average interest rate on 30-year “conforming” mortgages, whose loan balances are $484,350 or less, was little changed at 4.41% compared with 4.42% the week before.
Borrowing costs on 30-year “jumbo” loans, whose balances are higher than $484,350, averaged 4.27%, down from 4.31% the prior week, while the average interest rate on 15-year mortgages was unchanged at 3.81%.
“With purchase activity increasing and mortgage rate movements mostly unchanged, the refinance share of applications were at their lowest level since last November,” Kan said.
The share of refinance applications shrank to 37.9% of last week’s total from 38.8% the week before.
MBA’s seasonally adjusted gauge on refinancing activity edged up 0.8% to 1,238.5 last week.
Reporting by Richard Leong Editing by Chizu Nomiyama