New applications for U.S. home loans rose last week as 30-year mortgage rates eased to their lowest level since early April, an industry group said on Wednesday.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted market index, a measure of mortgage activity, rose for the week ending Sept 17 by 1.8 percent to 690.7 from the previous week's 678.2.
Thirty-year mortgage rates, excluding fees, averaged 5.66 percent, down 0.02 percentage point from the previous week and down 0.19 percentage point from a year ago, the Washington trade group said.
The Washington trade group's purchase index, a gauge of new loan requests for home purchases, rose last week by 0.2 percent to 456.6 from 455.7 in the prior week.
The Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted index on new refinancing applications rose for a third week, by 4.1 percent to 2,052.5 for last week from the previous week's 1,972.5.