WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- U.S. mortgage applications last week edged down for the third straight week, as mortgage rates rebounded from their all-time lows, a survey revealed Wednesday.
The Market Composite Index of U.S. mortgage applications, a measure of mortgage loan application volumes, decreased 12 percent in the week ending Oct. 19 from the previous week, according to the latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey released by the U.S. Mortgage Bankers Association.
The Refinance Index decreased 13 percent from the previous week, with its share of mortgage activity down to 81 percent of total applications. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index slid by 8 percent from a week earlier.
The average 30-year contract interest rate surged to 3.41 percent from 3.34 percent, and the 15-year contract interest rate climbed to 2.96 percent from 2.87 percent. However, the former has been below 4 percent all but one week in 2012, and the latter has been below 3 percent since the last week in May.
The current low mortgage rates are benefiting both prospective homebuyers and those seeking to refinance, though tight mortgage credit and a sluggish economic recovery are hindering a rebound in the housing market.