(Bloomberg) -- Mortgage applications for home purchases in the US rose for the first time in five weeks as mortgage rates eased closer to 7%.  

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index of mortgage applications to buy a home increased 8.6% in the week ended June 7 to 143.7, the highest level since May 3, according to data released Wednesday. The data are prone to big swings around holidays, and the latest reporting week followed Memorial Day.

The group’s refinancing gauge soared 28.4%, the largest weekly advance since January 2023.

The contract rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage decreased 5 basis points to 7.02%, according to Mortgage Bankers Association data released Wednesday. The rate on a 15-year mortgage slid 15 basis points to 6.6%.

Mortgage rates risk staying elevated until Federal Reserve policymakers, who wrap up a two-day meeting this afternoon, are convinced inflation is on a sustainable path toward their target. Investors largely expect Fed officials will wait until later this year before reducing their benchmark rate.

MBA’s overall index of applications, which includes those for home purchases and refinancing, jumped 15.6% last week. That was the biggest advance since early 2023.

The MBA survey, which has been conducted weekly since 1990, uses responses from mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. The data cover more than 75% of all retail residential mortgage applications in the US.

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