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Mortgage Loan Applications Up In Latest MBA Survey

March 7, 2002

Refinance Index Increases From Previous Week

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The market composite index of mortgage loan applications-a measure of loan purchases and refinances-for the week ending March 1 increased 14.5 percent to 631.2 on a seasonally adjusted basis from 551.1 the previous week, according to the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBA), which was released today. On an unadjusted basis, the application index increased 27.8 percent but was down 2.3 percent compared to the same week a year earlier.

The MBA seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased to 335.4 from 315.5 the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Refinance Index increased to 2351.7 from 1921.6 the previous week. Other seasonally adjusted index activity included the Conventional Index, which increased to 845.8 from 738.7 the previous week, and the Government Index, which increased to 273.0 from 238.1 the previous week.

Refinancing activity represented 51.7 percent of total applications, increasing from 48.6 percent the previous week. The share of ARM activity decreased to 13.2 percent from 14.5 percent the previous week.

"Last week was the first time since the week ended January 25 that fixed mortgage rates have increased, though last week?s increase was small," stated Phil Colling, an economist with the Mortgage Bankers Association. "We often see refinance activity increase in a week with increased mortgage interest rates. That is possibly attributable to consumers perceiving that rates have bottomed and are heading back up. The overall good news about the economy and the still relatively low mortgage rates may also have spurred consumers to pursue home purchases."

The average contract interest rate for30-year fixed rate mortgages was 6.81 percent, increasing from 6.74 percent the previous week, with points increasing to 1.48 from 1.34 the previous week (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.

The average contract interest rate for15-year fixed rate mortgages was 6.27 percent, decreasing from 6.19 percent the previous week, with points increasing to 1.33 from 1.20 the previous week (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.

The average contract interest rate for1-year ARMs was 5.12 percent, increasing from 4.95 percent the previous week, with points increasing slightly to 1.10 from 1.08 the previous week (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

Source: Mortgage Bankers Association

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