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Interest Rates Reach Record Lows In Latest MBA Survey

February 26, 2003

Refinancing Activity Increases Over Previous Week

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 26, 2003) - The Market Composite Index of mortgage loan applications -- a measure of mortgage loan applications for purchases and refinancings -- for the week ending February 21 increased by 5.5 percent to 1142.8 on a seasonally-adjusted basis from 1082.8 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 Index decreased 4.5 percent but was up 101.3 percent compared to the same week a year earlier.

The MBA seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased to 309.0 from 334.1 the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Refinance Index increased to 5989.6 from 5438.1 the previous week. Other seasonally adjusted index activity included the Conventional Index, which increased to 1665.0 from 1558.1 the previous week. The Government Index decreased to 270.1 from 289.8 the previous week.

Refinancing activity represented 75.3 percent of total applications, increasing from 72.5 percent the previous week. The share of ARM activity increased slightly to 13.3 percent from 13.2 percent the previous week.

"Last week equity prices again failed to mount a recovery, leading investors to shift funds into treasury securities," state MBA Senior Economist, Phil Colling. "With mortgage rates hovering at low levels, last week's decline in treasury yields was enough to bring mortgage rates down to new record lows."

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgages decreased to a new record low of 5.65 percent from 5.69 percent the previous week, with points decreasing to 1.49 from 1.61 the previous week (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The previous record low of 3.68 percent occurred the week ending February 7, 2003.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed rate mortgages decreased to a new record low of 5.02 percent from 5.10 percent the previous week, with points decreasing to 1.43 from 1.49 the previous week (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The previous record low of 5.09 percent occurred the week ending February 7, 2003.

The average contract interest rate for 1-year ARMs decreased slightly to a new record low of 3.60 percent from 3.61 percent the previous week, with points increasing slightly to 1.00 from 0.99 the previous week (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The previous record low of 3.61 percent occurred the week ending February 14, 2003.

Source: MBA



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