U.S. Mortgage Applications Decline as Rates Rise

(Bloomberg) -- A gauge of U.S. mortgage applications fell in the week ended Nov. 2 as borrowing costs hit the highest since 2010.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s market composite index fell 0.7 percent to 327.2, a three-week low, according to the Washington-based group. The survey’s contract rate on a 30-year fixed loan rose to 5.15 percent from 5.11 percent, while a gauge of applications to purchase homes increased 0.5 percent.

The association corrected previously released data that had showed a 4 percent drop in the market composite index to the lowest reading since 2014.

Higher mortgage costs are an ever-growing headwind for U.S. homebuyers, who already face a dearth of affordable listings. Residential investment has been a drag on economic growth for five of the past six quarters, and recent data show cooling in sales in construction.

The rise in borrowing costs comes as the Federal Reserve raised interest rates eight times since December 2015, part of a strategy to keep a strengthening labor market from overheating.

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