By Ovunc Kutlu
ISTANBUL (AA) - The 30-year fixed mortgage rate in the US fell for the second consecutive week, while mortgage applications saw a weekly gain, according to a report Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, rose 3% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending March 17, compared to the previous week. On an unadjusted basis, the index also increased 3% from the previous week.
The 30-year fixed-rate decreased to 6.48% last week, its lowest in a month, marking the second decline in the past six weeks. It stood at 6.79% for the week ending March 3.
"Treasury yields declined last week, driven by uncertainty over the health of the banking sector and worries about the broader impact on the economy," said MBA Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist Joel Kan.
"Both purchase and refinance applications increased for the third week in a row as borrowers took the opportunity to act, even though overall application volume remains at relatively low levels," he added.
The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 6.02%, from 6.14%, for the week.
The MBA survey covers more than 75% of US retail residential mortgage applications.