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Purchase Applications Set Record High

January 21, 2004

Refinance Applications Soar

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 16. The Market Composite Index of mortgage loan applications-a measure of mortgage loan applications for purchases and refinancings-increased by 30.4 percent to 916.1 on a seasonally adjusted basis from 702.6 one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased by 35.7 percent compared with last week and was down 19.6 percent compared with the same week one year earlier.

The MBA seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased by 12.5 percent to 501.6 from 445.9 the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Refinance Index increased by 51.5 percent to 3327.3 from 2195.7 one week earlier. Other seasonally adjusted index activity included the Conventional Index, which increased 33.3 percent to 1264.3 from 948.2 the previous week. The Government Index increased 14.5 percent to 335.1 from 292.7 the previous week.

"Spurred by mortgage rates below 6 percent, the purchase index reached a record high and the refinance index increased by over 51 percent last week. The refinance index increase marks the highest week to week percent increase since the week ending Jan. 12, 2001," said Jay Brinkmann, MBA's vice president of research and economics.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 57.7 percent of total applications from 51.6 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 27.8 percent from 26.6 percent the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 5.55 percent from 5.56 percent one week earlier , with points decreasing to 1.32 from 1.38 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 4.81 percent from 4.87 percent one week earlier , with points increasing to 1.41 from 1.31 the previous week (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs decreased to 3.41 percent from 3.43 percent one week earlier , with points remaining at 1.07 compared to the previous week (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

Source: MBA

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