Mortgage loan application volume slumped 10.5% the week ended Oct. 15, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey released Wednesday.

The refinance index plunged 11.25% and the seasonally adjusted purchase index fell 6.7%. Purchases were down 29.4% from the same week a year ago.

The average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 4.34% from 4.21%, while 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.74% from 3.62%.

“Mortgage activity tumbled in the latest week — its sixth decline over the past seven weeks,” Steven Wood, chief economist at Insight Economics, said in a research note. “Home buying slumped again, perhaps because banks, enmeshed with their foreclosure issues, may have slowed their processing of new mortgage applications. However, home buying is still relatively moribund, remaining well below both its tax-credit-fueled April level and its year-ago level and just above its lowest level of the past 15 years.”

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