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Mortgage Applications Fell 2.9% Last Week: Mba

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Application volume dropped an unadjusted 3.7% compared with the same week in 2007. Applications for mortgages to purchase homes were down a seasonally adjusted 1.0% in the week ended March 14 compared with the week before. Refinancing applications dropped 4.6% on a week-to-week basis. But the latest week marked another period of greater interest in loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration. The Washington-based MBA's Government Purchase Index, made up of mostly FHA loan applications, increased 7.7% last week compared with the week before, while the Government Refinance Index rose 11.4%. The four-week moving average for all mortgages as tracked by the MBA was down 6%. Refinancings accounted for 49.7% of all loan applications last week, down from 50.6% the previous week, according to the MBA's latest survey. Adjustable-rate mortgages made up 7.9% of applications, down from 15.5% the previous week. The average interest rate on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 5.98% last week, down from 6.37% the prior week. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.24% last week, down from 5.72% a week earlier. One-year ARMs, however, averaged 6.95%, up from 6.72% the previous week. The MBA survey covers about half of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications.


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