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WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Mortgage applications in the United States increased last week as the 30-year fixed mortgage rates dropped for the third week in a row, according to the latest survey released by Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) on Wednesday.
For the week ending November 30, MBA's market composite index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 2 percent from one week earlier.
The refinance index, a gauge of mortgage refinance activity in the United States, increased 6 percent from the previous week. Meanwhile, the purchase index increased 1 percent from one week earlier.
"The 30-year fixed-rate fell for the third week in a row to 5.08 percent and has declined a total of nine basis points over this span," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting.
Kan also noted that application activity increased over the week for both purchase and refinance loans.
Meanwhile, Kan said that the average loan size for purchase applications dropped to 298,000 U.S. dollars from 313,000 U.S. dollars, which was the lowest since December 2017.
"This is perhaps an indication that there are fewer jumbo borrowers, or maybe first-time buyers are having better success reaching the market as we close out the year," Kan added.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., MBA is a national association representing all facets of the real estate finance industry in the United States. MBA said that its survey covers over 75 percent of U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990.