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Mortgage Applications Decrease as Purchase Activity Wanes

Despite low and stable interest rates, mortgage applications fell for the week ending February 5, 2010, according to the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey released Wednesday by the ""Mortgage Bankers Association"":http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA).

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The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 1.2 percent on a seasonally-adjusted basis from the prior week. This decline was the result of a 7 percent drop in the seasonally-adjusted

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Purchase Index from week-to-week. The Refinance Index remained strong though, increasing 1.4 percent during the same period.

According to the survey, the four-week moving average for the seasonally-adjusted Market Index was up 3.8 percent. In addition, the four-week moving average for the seasonally-adjusted Purchase Index jumped 0.8 percent, and this average surged 4.8 percent for the Refinance Index.

The share of mortgage activity changed only slightly. The refinance share inched up to 69.7 percent of total applications, increasing just 0.05 percent from the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity was unchanged from the previous week, coming in at 4.5 percent of total applications.

MBA reported that interest rates during this same period remained relatively low. The average rate for 30-year fixed mortgages dropped to 4.94 percent from 5.01 percent the week prior, and the average rate for 15-year fixed mortgages remained unchanged at 4.33 percent. Additionally, the average rate for one-year ARMs decreased to 6.68 percent from 6.70 percent.

About Author: Brittany Dunn

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