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Mortgage application activity declined for the fourth consecutive week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

At the end of last week, the trade group’s Market Composite Index was down by 1.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, while the unadjusted index fell 12% over the same period. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index dipped 2% and the unadjusted index dropped 13% — it was also 27% lower than the same week one year ago.

The Refinance Index was 1% from the previous week and was 42% lower than the same week one year ago. Nonetheless, the refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 27.3% of total applications from 26.7% in the previous week.

Among the federal programs, the FHA share of total applications increased to 13.2% from 12.7% the week prior while the VA share of total applications increased to 12.5% from 12.1% and the USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.4% from 0.5%.

Joel Kan, MBA’s vice president and deputy chief economist, stated, “Overall applications were more than 30% lower than a year ago as borrowers continue to grapple with the higher rate environment. Purchase activity is constrained by reduced purchasing power from higher rates and the ongoing lack of for-sale inventory in the market, while there continues to be very little rate incentive for refinance borrowers. There was less of a decline in government purchase applications last week, which was consistent with a growing share of first-time homebuyers in the market.”