Mortgage demand declines by 2%

September 19, 2004|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

U.S. mortgage applications declined last week from a four-month high, reflecting fewer home purchases, a private survey found.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's gauge of loan demand decreased 2 percent to 678.2, the Washington-based group said in a statement. The measure rose a week earlier to 692, the highest since May 7.

Home purchase applications fell 4.3 percent to 455.7, close to the record 501.6 reached in mid-January. While sales might have peaked after a surge in demand this year, mortgage rates will underpin purchases, economists said.

"Sales are still running at a solid clip, but it's not the strength we saw earlier in the year," said Mat Johnson, director of economics at ThinkEquity Partners in San Francisco.

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