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Drop In Refinance Activity Leads Decline In Mortgage Application Volume

March 23, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 18. The Market Composite Index - a measure of mortgage loan application volume - was 658.8, an decrease of 9.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from 727.6 one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 9.2 percent compared with last week but was down 39.3 percent compared with the same week one year earlier.

The MBA seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased by 3.5 percent to 446.4 from 462.8 the previous week whereas the seasonally adjusted Refinance Index decreasn activity across the board, particularly for refinances. Refinance applications are down more than 60 percent relative to this time last year," said Michael Fratantoni, MBA's senior director of single family research and economics.

Other seasonally adjusted index activity included the Conventional Index, which decreased 9.7 percent to 981.5 from 1087.2 the previous week. The Government Index decreased 5.7 percent to 120.2 from 127.5 the previous week.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 39.5 percent of total applications from 42.9 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 33.5 percent of total applications from 32.4 percent the previous week. ed by 16.5 percent to 1894.4 from 2267.5 one week earlier.

"The increase in mortgage rates has reduced applicatio

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.95 percent from 5.91 percent one week earlier, with points decreasing to 1.22 from 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 5.49 percent from 5.47 percent one week earlier, with points increasing to 1.26 from 1.24 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs decreased to 4.12 percent from 4.19 percent one week earlier, with points increasing to 1.07 from 1.00 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.

Source: MBA

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