Higher U.S. mortgage rates slow loan demand - MBA


NEW YORK (Reuters) - Applications for U.S. mortgages slipped from a three-plus year high last week as home borrowing costs rebounded from their lowest levels in more than three years, according to data from an industry group released on Wednesday.


Interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, the most widely held type of U.S. home loans, climbed with a jump in benchmark Treasury yields in the wake of encouraging domestic economic data and Wall Street hitting record highs.


Thirty-year mortgage rates approached their record lows two weeks ago as the 10-year Treasury yield <US10YT=RR> reached historic lows on fears about the repercussion on global economic growth from Britain's vote to leave the European Union and bets on more stimulus from overseas central banks to cushion their economies from Brexit.


The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of total mortgage activity fell 1.3 percent in the week ended July 15 from the previous week.


The group's gauge on refinancing applications fell 1 percent from the prior week when it reached its highest level since June 2013.

The group's seasonally adjusted gauge on loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, declined 2 percent last week.

The share of weekly refinancing requests was 64.2 percent of total applications, compared with 64.0 percent the previous week, the Washington-based group said.

The average rate on "conforming" 30-year home mortgages, or loans with balances of $417,000 or less, rose to 3.65 percent, MBA said.

The prior week's 3.60 percent was the lowest 30-year average rate since May 2013 and not far from the historic low of 3.47 percent struck in December 2012, according to MBA data.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield <US10YT=RR> touched a record low of 1.321 percent on July 6. It was 1.571 percent on Wednesday, up 1 basis point from late on Tuesday, according to Reuters data.

(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)