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Mortgage Application Volume Increases; ARM Application Volume Up 9.6 Percent in Latest Survey

March 16, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 11. The Market Composite Index - a measure of mortgage loan application volume - was 727.6, an increase of 3.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from 704.8 one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 3.5 percent compared with last week but was down 33.4 percent compared with the same week one year earlier.

The MBA seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased by 2.5 percent to 462.8 from 451.7 the previous week whereas the seasonally adjusted Refinance Index increased by 4.2 percent to 2267.5 from 2176.8 one week earlier. The seasonally adjusted ARM Index increased by 9.6 percent to 5169.9 from 4717.3 the previous week.

"The ARM Index increased almost 10 percent last week while fixed rates jumped almost a quarter of a point. The ARM Index is now at its highest level since mid-December 2004," said Michael Cevarr, MBA's director of member surveys"

Other seasonally adjusted index activity included the Conventional Index, which decreased 0.7 percent to 1050.9 from 1058.2 the previous week. The Government Index decreased 1.4 percent to 127.3 from 129.1 the previous week.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 42.9 percent of total applications from 42.6 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 32.4 percent of total applications from 30.5 percent the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.91 percent from 5.69 percent one week earlier, with points remaining at 1.23 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.47 percent from 5.25 percent one week earlier, with points increasing to 1.24 from 1.22 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs decreased to 4.19 percent from 4.43 percent one week earlier, with points increasing to 1.00 from 0.95 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.



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