Mortgage applications fell slightly last week, as demand for refinancings continues to decline although purchase applications rose for the third consecutive week. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its market composite index increased 0.9% for the week ended Dec. 3 on a seasonally adjusted basis. Unadjusted the index rose 22.8% from the prior week, which including Thanksgiving. Refinancing and purchase applications continue to diverge, according to the MBA. The purchase index rose another 1.8% last week while refinancings dropped 1.4%. The purchase index is at highest level since early May and the refinancing index is at its lowest point since June. The unadjusted purchase applications index rose 21.3% from the previous week and was 12% lower than a year earlier. In four-week moving averages, the seasonally adjusted market index is down 8%, the purchase index is up 2.8% and the refinance index is down 10.9%. The refinancing share of all mortgage applications rose last week to 75.2% from 74.9% the week earlier. The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage has risen steadily for about a month and is now at 4.66%, according to the MBA, up from 4.56% the week before. The average rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage also rose last week to 3.98% from 3.91% a week earlier. On Tuesday, Zillow reported the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage is at the highest point in five months, with an increase of 20 basis points to 4.5% from the week prior, according to the company’s mortgage marketplace weekly update. Write to Jason Philyaw.

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