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Mortgage Applications Remain at High Level in Latest Survey

March 24, 2004

WASHINGTON, D.C.The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 19. The Market Composite Index of mortgage loan applications-a measure of mortgage loan applications for purchases and refinancings-decreased by 0.2 percent to 1114.9 on a seasonally adjusted basis from 1117.1 one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased by 0.3 percent compared with last week and was down 25.6 percent compared with the same week one year earlier.

"Due to a low mortgage interest rate environment, the volume of refinance applications is at its highest point in 8 months [the weekending July 18, 2003]," said Michael Cevarr, MBA's manager of member surveys.

The MBA seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased by 0.8 percent to 448.9 from 452.4 the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Refinance Index increased by 0.1 percent to 4988.7 from 4983.7 one week earlier. Other seasonally adjusted index activity included the Conventional Index, which decreased 0.05 percent to 1631.6 from 1632.4 the previous week. The Government Index decreased 1.9 percent to 252.5 from 257.3 the previous week.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 63.1 percent of total applications from 62.8 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 28.1 percent of total applications from 27.9 percent the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.38 percent from 5.37 percent from one week earlier, with points decreasing to 1.24 from 1.26 the previous week (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.64 percent from 4.65 percent one week earlier, with points decreasing to 1.41 from 1.45 the previous week (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs increased to 3.30 percent from 3.27 percent one week earlier, with points remaining at 0.98 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

Source: MBA



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