US mortgage applications dove 6% last week, hitting their lowest level since 1996, as mortgage interest rates rose further, according to a report Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, fell 6% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending Sept. 29 compared to the previous week. On an unadjusted basis, the index also declined 6%.
The 30-year fixed mortgage rate climbed to 7.53%, from 7.41% a week ago, which is also the highest since 2000, according to the MBA.
MBA Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist Joel Kan said mortgage applications grounded to a halt, dropping to their lowest level since 1996.
“The purchase market slowed to the lowest level of activity since 1995, as the rapid rise in rates pushed an increasing number of potential homebuyers out of the market,” he added.
The average contract interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage jumped to 6.86% from 6.73%.
The MBA survey covers more than 75% of US retail residential mortgage applications.