US mortgage applications tumble to a 13-year low


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WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans applying for mortgages has fallen 63 percent since a May peak, reflecting a cooling housing market and higher borrowing rates.

The Mortgage Bankers Association says applications fell a seasonally adjusted 6.3 percent last week from a week earlier. Applications are now at a 13-year low.

The drop-off follows a 1 percentage point increase in mortgage rates from historic lows last spring. The average for a 30-year mortgage is 4.47 percent, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.

Home sales stalled and began to fall once rates steadily increased after May. That ended a year and a half of rising mortgage applications since the housing bust.

Higher borrowing costs have made homes less affordable. Rates could rise further as the Federal Reserve scales back its economic stimulus.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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