RTTNews - Mortgage applications in the U.S. fell for the first time in a month, decreasing due to mortgage rates climbing for the second straight week.

The Mortgage Bankers Association released data Wednesday that showed that its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications--including both purchase and refinance loans--fell 6.3 percent to 495.4 in the week ending July 24. The index for the previous week was 528.9.

The Association also said that average rates for 30 year mortgages moved up 0.05 percentage points to 5.36 percent. In the previous week, the rates moved from 5.05 percent to 5.31 percent. The rates previously hit an all time low in the week ending March 27 when they fell to 4.61 percent.

It was the ninth straight week that rates remained above 5.0 percent, a factor that many experts say caused the decline in applications among potential home buyers. The interest rates, however, are still below the level of 6.46 percent it was last year at this time.

Other data released by the MBA showed that the refinance index decreased 10.9 percent from the previous week-2089.7 to 1862.1-and that the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index remained flat at 262.0.

The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted market average was reported to be up 2.6 percent, and the four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted purchase index is down 0.5 percent.

The U.S. housing market has been showing recent signs of stabilization after being hit particularly hard in the recent financial crisis. Some experts have said, however that interest rates and inflation might rise, which would be beneficial to the housing market.

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